вторник, 14 декабря 2010 г.

Health Care Reform Boon for Cancer Prevention, Wellness

Experts at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center say health care reform will lead to early cancer detection and prevention. Eliminating co-payments for preventive screening and expanding coverage for services will remove financial barriers for cancer screening exams. Affordable health care also will improve vaccination rates.
For individuals with private insurance plans that started after September 2010, healthcare reform madates preventive cancer prevention services that include colorectal cancer screening, diet counseling for those at high risk, obesity counseling and screening, help with smoking cessation, PAP tests, HPV vaccine, genetic counseling and chemoprevention, mammograms and well baby and child visits.
For Medicare participants; beginning January 1, 2011, covered preventative services include mammogram, colonoscopy and flexible sigmoidoscopy, PAP tests, smoking cessation, personal risk assessment, body mass index and waist circumference measurements to find the risk for cancers fueled by obesity, and family and medical history review.
In 2013, states that offer free or low cost preventive services through Medicaid will receive incentives and are also already receiving funding to provide care at community health centers for vaccines, cancer screening and other preventive services.
According to Ernest Hawk, M.D., M.P.H., vice president and division head for Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences at MD Anderson. “We’re optimistic that more cancers may be prevented or detected early when they can be treated most effectively." Healthcare reform mandates better coverage and expanded services for disease prevention - something that Hawk says “promises to reduce some of the barriers to cancer screening exams and improve vaccination rates.”

Prevention Services Expand in Response to Health Care Reform

To meet the anticipated need of increasing number of individuals seeking cancer screening, MD Anderson plans to expand their facilities. Included in their services are individualized cancer risk assessments, assistance with diet improvement, stop smoking programs that can reduce risk of various types of cancer.
Dr. Hawk explains, "The good news is that health care reform makes wellness and prevention top priorities. These are very promising and important developments for all Americans, and particularly for the most vulnerable among us — underserved communities, who often forgo regular screenings because they’re too expensive or inaccessible.”
Heath Care reform is expected to lead to the need for a different type of service from health care providers with more emphasis on prevention. More preventive services are being covered by insurance companies with zero co-pay, co-insurance or deductible. The affordable healthcare act should be a boon for cancer and prevention and welllness. Speak with your insurance provider for details about prevention and wellness services associated with your individual plan.

среда, 8 декабря 2010 г.

New Mexico Bill Would Establish Health Care Authority

The NewMexico House on Tuesday voted 56-6 to approve a bill (HB 147) that would createa Health Care Authority to develop a plan by January 2009 for "accessibleand affordable" health care for all state residents, the AP/Santa Fe New Mexican reports. The measure now moves tothe state Senate.
The bill, sponsored by State Rep. Danice Picraux (D), would create the11-member Health Care Authority, comprising the state insurance superintendent,five members appointed by the governor and five members appointed by theLegislature. All decisions by the committee would need to be supported by atleast seven of the authority's members. If the bill is approved by the stateSenate, the Health Care Authority would take over the New Mexico Health Policy Commission and its budget in July. The commission'sexecutive director would serve as the interim head of the authority.
According to the AP/New Mexican, "Lawmakers have beenreluctant to make major decisions about the health care system during thesession that ends Feb. 14, and it appeared the bill approved ... on Tuesday mayhave the brightest prospects for passage." State Rep. Luciano Varela (D)said, "My concern is, if we take too much on this session, we will not dojustice to the health care system in New Mexico." Supporters of the measure say itprovides the framework for fundamental health care system changes.
Gov. Bill Richardson (D) has asked lawmakers to pass separate legislation thatwould require all state residents to obtain health insurance, expand governmentprograms and require businesses to contribute to the cost of health care. Thatbill remains in committee. Richardsonspokesperson Gilbert Gallegos said that "another study is unacceptable tothe 400,000 New Mexicans who need access to quality health care now"(Baker, AP/Santa Fe New Mexican, 2/5).

четверг, 2 декабря 2010 г.

Some Health Insurance Providers Don't Include Sports Physicals

Many of the major health insurance carriers in the United States allow for a Physical each year, but you need to check with your carrier to see if that includes Sports Physicals. Often times sports physicals are not covered since the doctor may bill them differently than the regular physical.

Who pays for physical health insurance

It is good practice to get a physical, you just need to understand who is paying for it. Like many billable insurance services you should always compare your out of pocket expense with what the doctor calls the cash option.
Many doctors have a insurance rate and a cash rate. In fact, if you have a prescription next time you are at the pharmacy before you present your health insurance card ask what the cash rate is. You will find that some cash rates are less than you would have spent out of pocket using your insurance deductible. You will also want to ask about the 90 day supply vs. the 30 day supply. I have found on prescription I take had a $25.00 co-pay that I would pay every 30 days. I asked how much it would be if I did not use my insurance and paid cash they said $15.00. Better than that I asked about the 90 day supply and they said $21.00. So over a 90 day period I was able to save $54.00 by paying cash vs. using my insurance card. Paying cash also saved my insurance company too, and did not go against my plan benefits when I really needed them.
You will find the same thing holds true with maternity. My first baby was born underinsurance and I paid $400 total but the insurance company paid close to $18,000 for that expense. My second child we did not have insurance so we ended up paying $5500.00 cash for everything, including the OB visits. We were able to make payments to the hospital and the OB over 24 months . We had insurance for the 3rd and 4th child, but we opted out of the maternity benefit that was over $150.00 additional each month saving over $18000.00 and working out payment plans for a fraction of the cost paying with cash.
We are in the middle of a health care crisis, but we the users of the system are partly to blame. If everyone questioned the cost of their medical expenses line they do their car repair, or grocery bill things would not be so out of control.
You can be a smart consumer, and save yourself money if you take the time to understand the system.