Tag Archive for health care

What are US Families Giving Up to Pay for Healthcare?

What are US Families Giving Up to Pay for Healthcare?

What are US Families Giving Up to Pay for Healthcare?There is much concern among all US citizens over the rising costs of healthcare. You hear about it from many sources including other people, your medical?facilities, and the media just to name a few.

But while we are all facing this healthcare crisis together, how are we coping? What are US families giving up to pay for their health?

Here are a few sacrifices people are making to pay for healthcare.

Going Out for Meals

With the rising costs of healthcare families are facing, many people are forced to cut back in other areas. The facts are that a budget can only stretch so far. The money needed to pay for increasingly more expensive medications, doctor visits, and hospital stays must be found. According to research by Coupon Dash, the way American?s are cutting back the most is by reducing the number of meals they eat out.

Career Opportunities

Some American workers have had to change careers in order to provide medical care?for their families. As healthcare costs have risen, more employers are cutting back on the healthcare benefits they offer their employees. Additionally, many employers have eliminated offering healthcare coverage as a benefit altogether.

These changes have increased the already heavy burden of healthcare costs for the average American. Some people have had to change jobs in order to get healthcare coverage. Even then, coverage is usually costly. Others have decided against self-employment in order to take up a position with a company that provides a healthcare benefit.

Education

Unfortunately, money is not infinite. As healthcare costs have risen, wages for most people have not kept up. As a result, another area taking a hit from the rising costs of medical care is education.

Many of our states budgets have slashed their education funding to the bone. College tuition costs have increased, possibly to make up for the budget shortfalls. Plus, public schools are cutting beneficial programs they can no longer afford to offer. At the same time, costs for state funded Medicaid programs have risen substantially as more Americans can no longer afford medical care?on their own.

New Technology

Some of the luxuries people have been able to afford in the past are begin eliminated or purchased less frequently as a result of rising medical?costs. New computers, expensive smart phones, tablets, and other technological items are being given up as budgets tighten.

For some, cutting back on newer technology affects their jobs. For example if you use your home computer for work, not being able to upgrade it could cost you money in lost wages.

Time with Family

As medical care?costs increase, more Americans take on side hustles or second jobs to increase their income. This means another area of sacrifice is loss of time spent with family.

It appears that people are sacrificing in a variety of areas in order to pay for the increasing costs of healthcare. Plus, it doesn’t seem that medical costs will be decreasing anytime soon.

 

 

What are you willing to sacrifice to pay for healthcare for your family?

 

Photo courtesy of: DarkoStojanovic

How to Select the Right Health Care Plan for Your Needs

health care

doctor-1228627_640Health care is a hot topic these days, and everyone has an opinion on which company to purchase health insurance from. So, how do you wade through them all to decide on just one? Unfortunately, you do have to decide or face the tax penalty.?Here are some tips to help you select the right health care plan for your needs.

Check Your Current Coverage

Whether your current insurance plan is through your employer or privately purchased through the marketplace, coverages differ, so don?t be swayed by the opinion of someone else. To really know if you have a plan that works for you, find out the facts.

If you don?t know what your plan covers, ask. Get it in writing so you can reference it as you need to. Selecting the right health care plan for your needs is a personal decision. Everyone’s needs are different, which is why there are a variety of different plans available on the marketplace and at most employers too.

Compare Health Care Plans

If you?re insured through your employer and are thinking about making a plan change, check with the human resources department of your company to find out when and if you can make changes. There are usually certain times of the year, called Open Enrollment, when you can make changes to your health care plan and other benefits. Make sure to ask what, if any, changes you can make and the cost. Are there deductibles and co-insurance amounts to be met? If so, what are they? You are going to be receiving a lot of information, so I suggest you get a notebook and write everything down.

What do you do if your employer doesn?t offer health insurance? Check the Insurance Marketplace for your state. You can look it up online and find out what is available. Generally speaking, if the monthly premiums are less, the deductibles and co-insurance amounts are going to be higher. Conversely, if the monthly payment is more, the deductible and co-insurance amounts usually go down.

Now that you know what is available, compare the plans to see what fits your budget. Can you afford a higher premium in order to pay less out of pocket later if hospitalized? Or, are you fairly healthy and rarely require medical care? If so, maybe a lower premium is better for you. You must weigh these options to determine which health care plan is the best for you and your family.

Another favorite option is eHealthInsurance?- which allows you to compare plans and find the best one for your situation.

In Network and Out of Network

Many insurance plans have lists of which hospitals and doctors are accepted as belonging to their group of providers, in other words, in network. If the health care provider you prefer is not on the list, they are considered out of network and many times the bills you have from them will not be covered, or they will be covered at a lower rate.

Check the in network list?before you make a final decision on your health care plan to make sure the providers you see will be considered in network. If not, you might need to choose a different health care plan or find a new doctor to save money.

Read the Fine Print

Be wary of terms such as ?usual and customary? and ?reasonable and necessary.? These terms are a gray area and are an insurance company?s way of wriggling out of paying for a claim should you be hospitalized and have a large bill. If at all possible, stay away from plans with these gray areas.

Now that you know these basics, you should be able to avoid that penalty and make an informed decision about which health care plan is right for your needs.

 

How did you select your health care plan? Can you think of any other things people shopping for a health care plan should be aware of?

 

Photo courtesy of: valelopardo