When is the last time you were in the hospital?
If you’re like most people, it has likely been a while. If it hasn’t been very long, you know the value of good health insurance. Because of all the changes to health insurance this is one area where there is so much confusion. Let us help clear up the worry and concern about the future of health insurance.
What about increasing costs?
While it is true that health insurance premiums are going up, in some cases by as much as 90%, there are a number of benefits that are also being added to policies as a result of the Affordable Care Act. For example, starting in January 2014 even sick people will be able to get health insurance – and they will pay no more than those that are healthy. For healthy people, however, this doesn’t seem like a very good deal. This is why we will do everything we can to recommend supplemental insurance, or benefits, where it makes sense to lower your total out of pocket costs for health care.
What does health insurance cover?
Preventive care at 100%
This means your annual checkups, wellness exams, immunizations, flu shots, pap smears*, mammograms* and prostate screenings* are all free of charge. You should take advantage of these services since they are 100% no cost to you. Of course, there are limits on how many of certain types of screenings you can receive under this benefit, so check with your insurance agent or insurance company to make sure what you are looking for will be actually covered at 100%. The other important note about this coverage is that if your doctor uncovers some abnormality or encounters a problem, the screening changes in category from preventive to diagnostic and will likely be subject to your co-pays and/or deductible.
Having health insurance means you can go see the doctor when you are not feeling well. These visits are usually subject to a co-pay, which means that you will share a set amount in the cost of the doctor office visit. Co-pays can range anywhere from $10 on up $60 or more. Your co-pay, however, only covers the cost of the time spent consulting with the doctor. Any tests that are ordered or services performed may be additional in cost and will be subject to your deductible. Of course, instead of going to the doctor’s office, you can always sign up for a plan to access a doctor by phone – who can diagnose your condition over the phone or by video call and then call in a prescription for you to your local pharmacy – all without having to leave your home. This service is available included in a package of benefits for a low monthly cost. This could save you some money on co-pays.
Health insurance can pay a portion of the cost of expensive prescription drugs. Of course, we all know you can get pretty inexpensive maintenance type prescriptions at most major retailers, but if you have to pay a lot for a prescription, health insurance may cover all or a portion of the cost depending on your plan.
If you become diagnosed with cancer or a serious illness or are seriously injured in an accident, your health insurance is designed to prevent you from becoming financially destitute as a result of your medical bills. While health insurance can be a huge blessing to eliminating a large portion of a massive hospital bill, it is not 100% coverage. You will still have to pay for a portion of your medical bills out of pocket. These out of pocket costs are known as your deductible and co-insurance. Your deductible is paid before the insurance will pay any portion of the bill and co-insurance is the amount of shared costs you pay along with the insurance company. The good news is that under the new federal health legislation, you will only have to pay a maximum of $6,600 per person in health expenses each year. Your health insurance policy is required to cover the rest.
While there are a number of other things required to be covered in the new health insurance plans, these are the basics. Let us know if we can assist in putting together a health insurance package that is right for you. (971) 264-9008.
* Some preventive services are only available as wellness visits, and not subject to out of pocket expense, to those over a certain age or considered at risk to developing certain health conditions. Check with your health insurance company for more details and specific coverage information..