What Are 2010’s Best Health Insurance Plans?

This is one of the most important times of the year for health insurers. Of course, the open enrollment period for the majority of Americans with employer-sponsored health insurance is coming up. In addition, it is when the National Committee for Quality Assurance releases its annual Health Insurance Plan Ranking. A high score allows victors to promote their seal of approval to consumers, who may be convinced to select them over others.

How does NCQA create its list? The members of the organization base their rankings on three main factors: accredation by NCQA, clinical performance, and the level of satisfaction of health plans’ members. Admittedly, the first factor is somewhat biased. However, the organization’s views are still generally respected by the health insurance industry. This is especially due to its widely used Healthcare Effectiveness and Data Set (HEDIS) performance measurement tool.

Many of the plans ranked highest were Medicaid, Medicare, or Medicare Advantage plans. For the most part, those policies are in different markets than private health insurance plans. However, some commercial plans still received high ratings.

Tied for second place overall (and the best among commercial plans) is Tufts Associated Health Maintenance Organization. Although HMOs are declining in availability, their breadth of coverage (albeit with in-network limitations) for a relatively fixed price is still appealing to consumers.

Also in the top 10 are Capital Health Plan (#4), Geisinger Health Plan (#5), Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin (#7), Fallon Community Health Plan (#8), and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado (#9). Joining them in the top 20 are Priority Health (#13), Independent Health Association (#16), and HealthPartners (#19). Rounding out the commercial plans included are #21 (Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Northern California) and #22 (ConnectiCare — EmblemHealth).

Fortunately for those seeking health care, the best plans appear to be generally evenly spread nationwide–as opposed to concentrated in one region of the country.

Health Insurance – Alcohol

The consumption of alcohol in the form of recreational alcoholic drinks is something that many people do not think about in connection with their health insurance applications or premiums but it is definitely a factor. The amount of alcohol a person consumes on a regular basis affects the rate of their health insurance premiums as well as the limits and exclusions to the policy. It is important, however, to be honest when filling out the insurance application for if untruths are found, the policy will likely be cancelled immediately and the reasoning cited as to prevent or severely hamper the procuring of insurance from somewhere else in the future.

Social drinking of alcohol is classified as a drink or two on social occasions now and again, with no real regularity. This type of drinking of alcohol does not have any impact on the insurance application, the policy limits or premium costs. Social drinkers do not have any need to worry about their insurance policies being affected by their alcohol consumption. Binge drinking that takes place periodically where a person drinks a lot of alcohol in a short period of time is another matter altogether. Binge drinking of alcohol is extremely dangerous and potentially life threatening to the body in the form of alcohol poisoning.

Health insurance companies do not like to insure binge drinkers or alcoholics who drink daily because those people are huge risks for the company to take on in that there will surely be dangerous repercussions to the body that result in expensive medical intervention needs. From alcohol poisoning to liver problems and all kinds of physical and mental issues, the abuse of alcohol is a lose-lose situation all the way around for a insurance company to consider. As a result, most people who abuse alcohol cannot get quality insurance coverage.

Alcohol is considered to be a drug in many ways due to the negative effects it has on the body when not carefully controlled. It is ranked with smoking when it comes to health insurance applications so both will get a person a higher premium, certain policy limits or even denied health insurance coverage outright. Health insurance companies are not in the business of taking high risks with their money. Alcohol in excess and good health practices do not go together. Insurance companies do not insure people they feel are at risk for medical care problems that result from excessive alcohol consumption.

If you need assistance in this regard or need help looking for several coverages to cover this, please visit our website at http://www.health-insurance-buyer.com and leave your contact information so we can respond to your request.

Health Insurance Costs and Modern Medicine

It seems that the more insurance one has the higher go the fees. Doctors now earn substantially more than they did proportionally few years ago. While they know that their patients can recover most of the cost for their service they rarely get an argument from them. In Australia we have the Medicare system that covers everything for those without private health.

The previous Prime Minister, Tony Abbot, put this extra burden on people that they must have health insurance. Only the pensioners above 75 years are now covered by bulk billing. That is they are not charged and the government pays for them. Prior to the Abbot changes everyone had this type of benefit but the cost was unsustainable.

Because of that rise in fees the government is now looking for ways to cut it back even further. The increase in population from overseas migrants is putting an extra burden on the system. Some of these people will go to two or three doctors in the same day thinking they will get better quicker. Some are also getting extra drugs and selling them overseas.

Modern medicine is expensive and now the vets are also on a par with the medical profession as far as fees go. The debate that they do much the same amount of study is a logical claim but when one has no insurance against their bills it is rather tough for many to afford it. Pet ownership is suffering as a result.

We can’t go backwards to old systems because it becomes too complicated. Once people earn more it is hard to take it away again. This is yet another dilemma the government is dealing with as there appears to be no way they can force a decrease in the cost of the medical bills covered by their program. The cost of private insurance is also rising beyond what most and now afford.