Before the Affordable Health Care Act, They Were Locked Out

(Many provisions of the Affordable Health Care Act have already kicked in before full implementation of the law which takes effect in 2014.)Locked out of medical care, that is. Who? Individuals with pre-existing conditions. Now, 50,000 of them have healthcare coverage via the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) in their state. This is a temporary high-risk health insurance program that makes healthcare not only available but much more affordable.For example, a patient named Deborah fell victim to a back injury. It left her unemployed and unable to afford health insurance premiums. However, when she discovered the Michigan PCIP plan, she was able to enroll in it, receive the back surgery she needed and get on the road to recovery.PCIP makes a difference. It has allowed many Americans to get connected to health insurance and receive the medical care they sorely need. That’s because PCIP enrollees can receive that care immediately.The way it works is that states have the option of operating this new program in their state. However, if a state has chosen not to do so, the Department of Health and Human Services has established a plan in that state. This insurance serves as a bridge to 2014. That’s when all discrimination against pre-existing conditions will be prohibited.You can see how your state administers PCIP with either their own program or one established by the Department of Health and Human Services by clicking on the link below.https://www.pcip.gov/StatePlans.htmlInsurance up to Age 26Another plus of the Affordable Health Care Act that has been in effect since 2010 is where young adults are allowed to remain on their parent’s health plan until they turn 26 (unless the young adult is offered insurance at work).Health Care Premium ExpensesEffective on January 1st, 2011, the law requires that at least 85% of the premium collected by insurance companies administering large employer plans be spent on health care services and quality improvement for health care.For individual and small employer plans, 80% of the premiums must be spent on improving health care services.It this provision is not met, rebates must be given to consumers.Discount Prescription Drugs for SeniorsAlso In 2011, seniors who reach the coverage gap will receive a 50 percent discount when they buy Medicare Part D covered brand-name prescription drugs.Over the next ten years and until the coverage gap is closed in 2020, seniors will receive additional savings on generic and brand-name drugs.

How to Choose Good and Affordable Health Care Insurance Plans

It is not a tedious task to find a good affordable health care insurance plan. Various strategies that you can use to search for a health insurance that meet your requirements are explained more in this article.There will be times when people incurred high medical expenses when they seek medical attention. It is therefore imperative that we should get an affordable medical insurance to take care of these large medical bills which may happen anytime and anywhere. This way, we could seek the medical attention that we need in times of any sudden unfortunate circumstances without worrying wiping out our entire life savings or burning a real big hole in the pocket. There are many health options available on the market these days. How can one choose the best policies that meet one’s medical needs at the lowest price? Below are some guidelines that can help you.List Out Your RequirementsBefore getting any of the affordable health care insurance available on the market, it is important for you to list down your requirements. Know all your existing health conditions and look out for one that meets your needs in terms of the premium that you need to pay as well as the coverage provided.Do Not Be Confused With The Word “Premium”Do not be confused with the word “premium’, which is normally the amount you need to pay monthly or yearly to secure a health insurance option, to the word “premium health insurance”. The later refer to another kind of medical insurance which is costlier than those regular policies. Such option also provides wider coverage and have greater claim limit, and this explains why they are more expensive in general.Use The Internet To Help You To Find The Health Care Insurance PlanUse the internet to list out the top companies that can be found on the internet. Companies that appear high in the search ranking are normally more trusted. Get the list of companies and then perform a thorough check on them. Make appointment with at least 4-5 companies and discuss with them. Do not sign up on the dotted line immediately with the first company you meet up with. Get the quotes of the different companies you have listed and go back to analyze the quotations carefully and closely. Once you found one that best meet your requirements at the lowest cost and with the best health coverage, contact the company again and clear any doubts you may still have with them. If everything looks good and the policy you selected is satisfactory, you could proceed to prepare all the necessary documents to get the affordable health care insurance option.

Health Care Reform – Let It Come But Be Ready for Change!

To stir emotions the health care reform debate doesn’t have to peel the onion back very far. There are those who could always afford health insurance and are worried that their costs will significantly rise in the attempt to cover the cost of care for those who have gone without. There are those with numerous and expensive to treat medical problems, who have no health insurance or inadequate health insurance coverage and they need relief, now! And there are those who are healthy, have chosen not to have health insurance, and resent a mandate requiring them to “buy-in” or face monetary penalties.The Health Care Affordability Act of 2010 is wide in its scope and goals. First, it moves us to a place where most Americans will be covered by health insurance. This will remove “the” key impediment to “routine” health care services for millions of Americans. Subsidies will insure health care insurance regardless of an ability to pay and just because you have pre-existing medical conditions you will still be eligible for “reasonably priced” coverage. Stated another way, insurers will not be able to reject you or drastically increase your premiums if you suffer from chronic illnesses that generate a high level of claims, nor will they be allowed to set dollar limits on health insurance coverage.To fund these objectives the Health Care Affordability Act requires all Americans to purchase health insurance. There will be subsidies if you are in a low income category and if you have no ability to pay anything you will be eligible for Medicaid as these state level programs will be more accommodating and act as the ultimate safety net. Through its mandates, the law requires millions of healthy individuals to pay into the system. The idea here is that those of us who are not in need of health care will fund those who draw from it. Since any of us can succumb to a health emergency at any time and thus become in need of potentially costly health care interventions those who support the mandate feel that this is fair – we are simply looking out for each other. Next, there are numerous plans in testing phases that are designed to make the delivery of health care more efficient and more cost effective. These pilot programs are being managed by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and include the cooperation of health systems throughout the country. These are complex to say the least and in early development stages and until proven, which is years from now, it is not known what their effect will be.I support the attempt by the Obama administration and others to get something done on this pressing national issue. But there is a lack of candor about the cost, where the funds will come from, what treatments and medical technologies will be restricted due to very high costs and how the demand of millions of newly insured patients will be managed in terms of timely access to care and treatments. I have spent forty-one years of my life in a medical technology career that focused on global health economics and reimbursement issues and believe me, something will have to give. In every country outside of America, health care budgets are limited and capped. Fees to hospitals and physicians are set, annually reviewed and kept in check and new medical technology prices and access to them are restricted in subtle and not so subtle ways. And if you think that these policies won’t happen in America – think again, as spending limits are being set and will be set and we will have to live within them!Having said that, let’s continue on with the reforms, some government mandated, some driven by the market place as conservative health policies propose. Just know that we will be dealing with health care reform for a very long time and there are going to be a lot of disillusioned folks along the way, newly enfranchised and otherwise. The emerging health care system will be “more just” but it will require real and noticeable sacrifice from the majority of Americans who heretofore never much worried about the fairness of it all.