What If Car Insurance Were Like Health Insurance?

It’s a beautiful day. You’re tooling down a road and pick up a nail in your tire. A few miles later your tire is running low so you stop at the local garage and have it plugged for 10 bucks. They suggest you buy new tires before next winter.

It’s been 3 months since your last oil change. Since it’s a nice day you pull into Lube Stop and spend $50 on an oil change.

In fact the day is so nice, you fill up your tank and take a long ride in the country.

On the way back you notice your brake pedal is low, so plan to have the brakes relined in the near future before the rotors are damaged, another $75.

What’s missing from this equation? You didn’t consider asking your car insurance to cover the expense.

Now what if car insurance were like health insurance?

Imagine new laws requiring every gas station to submit an insurance claim every time you fill up at the pump. But good news – you are no longer required to pay up front. Tires, gasoline, and oil changes are now covered under your car insurance.

Under the new regulations the gas station has to wait 30 to 60 days to receive payment. Of course, the office clerk who submits the claim wants her paycheck weekly. The person who reviews the claim does as well. The insurance office has expenses for postage, utilities, and rent, not to mention they hope to make a profit. Some claims would be denied or lost, so the gas station would naturally charge everyone a little extra to cover losses.

Do you think the price of gas would be higher or lower? Would it actually cost more or less to provide the same service?

Suddenly your $800 for gasoline and maintenance has blossomed to twice that – or more.

The station owner is angry because he has to hire more help, wait to get paid, and deal with unnecessary aggravation.

At least to start with you (the customer) are happy – until you receive your insurance bill, which has increased by $1600 to cover the new services.

But by the time you receive the bill you’ve become accustomed to free gas. Hmm, perhaps if you just drive more you’ll make up for the increase in premiums. You’ll get new tires more frequently, as often as your insurance allows. And of course, you’ll want the best – no off-brands will do.

This scenario is exactly what’s happened with health insurance. And thus premiums spiral higher and higher. Does any of this make sense to you?

It doesn’t take a genius to see that when everything is “free” the “need” is endless. Of course, nothing is free, it only seems so. You’re still paying via a third party. And if you’ve already paid, you want the best – AND you don’t want to pay an extra dollar for it.

Of course, your insurance will have their shareholders in mind, and must generate a profit, even if this goes against your best interest. Soon only generic oil and knock-off tires will be covered, not to mention low-test gasoline. All this at twice the price you used to pay.

Makes you want to go back to the good old days, doesn’t it?

Copyright 2010 Cynthia J. Koelker, M.D.

Maybe It’s Time To Get Serious About Health Insurance?

Perhaps you have recently changed jobs; your new job does not have an inclusive life/health insurance option, unlike your old one. Or maybe you have never bothered with life/health insurance? None of us are getting any younger; perhaps you have just married or even have a little one on the way. The truth is that it is always a good time to get some health insurance, whatever your age or marital status. This small guide will show you some of the options and a few reasons why this is a wise avenue to be taking.

Is it Simple?

Most things related to insurance seem very complicated, and they needn’t be. Let’s look at a guide to the main four categories of health plans for insurance.

Indemnity Insurance

Indemnity is the oldest form of health insurance; it will look after your basic needs but will come with a limit. If you need extensive surgery and the cost is very high; then the chances are that your indemnity policy will not cover you. It may well cover a percentage, please check the limits and options available to you when looking at this type of policy.

Health Maintenance Organization Insurance

With this type of coverage you will able to relax knowing that most of your health issues will be covered. But you will be restricted to hospitals and doctors that are connected to your health plan. The policy is not expensive and is a good option should you prefer it.

Preferred Provider Organization

This will also look after your health worries but you will need to make a small payment for every visit you make. You need to check the list of preferred providers; if they meet your approval than you should consider this option.

Point Of Service

The POS plan gives you more options in comparison to the already discussed possibilities. It can be operated much like the HMO plan; whereby you need to make a small payment for each visit. Or you can choose to treat the POS like an indemnity plan if you require a wider list of hospital and doctor choices.

Coverage

This is a very important factor to be considered when looking at health insurance plans. You need to carefully read and compare the amount of emergency care that is catered for. Some plans will pay for all of the care; others will only foot the bill for fifty percent. Usually the cheaper plans will pay for a smaller percentage of emergency care. And let’s be honest, the emergency care was probably the main reason you are looking for a health plan in the first place.

Is There a Best Time To Get One?

The best time to get a health insurance plan is when you don’t actually think that you need one. You may feel very fit and healthy; you exercise regularly and do not smoke or drink. But you never know when something untoward may happen to you, or your loved ones. So please do not leave it too late, why not start looking straight away?

The Patient Protection And Affordable Health Care Act – Is Obamacare Healthy For America?

The American public is totally divided about the merits and demerits of Obamacare. The whole episode has also become a contentious political issue. However, people who oppose the Health Care Act seldom understand the true benefits that it can bring to the people of America.

The main focus of the Act is to bring as many people as possible under health insurance coverage. When the Act is enforced, people would be adequately covered by health insurance, and enjoy the benefits of Obamacare. Here is a brief overview of the real benefits of the Affordable Health Care Act.

First of all, insurance companies will not be allowed to discriminate based on the pre-existing conditions of applicants. Currently, guaranteed issue is mandatory only in the small group market. Employees who are enrolled in a company with a size of 2 to 50 employees alone currently enjoy this benefit. People who apply for insurance in the individual health insurance market can be denied insurance in many states based on their pre-existing condition. Obamacare seeks to eliminate this practice by requiring all insurers to offer uniform premiums to all applicants of similar age and geographical location, without taking pre-existing conditions into consideration.

Under the provisions of the Act, insurance companies offering individual or group health insurance coverage to dependent children of the policy holder would be required to extend that coverage until the child is 26 years old. Therefore, a number of youngsters can benefit from their parents’ health insurance coverage until they turn 26. This would benefit most youngsters who are struggling to pay for their personal health insurance coverage. In case these youngsters have children of their own, those children would not come under this coverage however. Thanks to the Act, six million young people would now enjoy health insurance coverage.

Obamacare also comprehensively addresses the infamous ‘donut hole’ problem in the Medicare Part D program. From 2010, eligible seniors who entered the donut hole were issued a $250 rebate check. In 2011, they were entitled to receive a 50% discount on branded medications within the donut hole. The prices of generic Part D drugs were also discounted. From 2013, even the cost of branded Part D prescription drugs would be discounted. By 2020, the hole would be completely eliminated. Seniors who are on a prescription drug plan will continue to receive Part D coverage throughout this period.

These are some of the benefits of the Affordable Health Care Act. Just as auto insurance is mandatory in the United States, the Act strives to make health insurance also mandatory so that every American can enjoy affordable health care.