Beat Your Competition By Controlling The Cost Of Your Health Insurance
May 4, 2006
As many of us expect, the New Year will bring both tremendous challenges and opportunities for all of us both personally and professionally. Employers continue to face the major challenge of controlling the cost of their health insurance and other employee health insurance programs. Organizations that can best get a handle on the cost of their employee health insurance costs have an excellent opportunity to gain an advantage over their competition.
What are some practical ways to control the cost of your health insurance? Here are a few suggestions for lowering health insurance costs:
- Investigate all of your traditional and consumer directed health plan options. Many companies are easing into consumer directed plans by offering them as part of a “dual choice” program.
- Out of network benefits. If your PPO network has adequate access to network providers, plan designs that strongly encourage the use of preferred providers save premium and claim dollars while the insured still gets the needed care at a discounted rate.
- Prescription drug coverage. Rx plans that encourage the use of generics and require mandatory mail order for maintenance medications are an efficient use of your benefit dollars.
- Encourage wellness. What is the old saying? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of gain in lowering health insurance costs.
- Consumerism. Access to the tools necessary to be a “good” healthcare consumer will allow individuals to get the best care at the best price.
If you do not have time to personally handle the suggestions made above, consider enlisting the services of an independent insurance broker that specializes in designing and evaluating health plan options to lower health insurance costs. A good insurance broker should be able to save you time, money, and ultimately serve as a trusted resource for plan recommendations now and in the future.
About The Author:
Michael Ertel is the founder of http://www.MedicalInsuranceNow.com which is a website that assists individuals and small business owners by providing side by side comparisons of health insurance alternatives.
Article Source: http://www.articlecity.com
High Deductible Health Insurance Plans For Individuals and Families
May 4, 2006
Do you pay more attention to your car than your body? You change your oil every 3000 to 4000 miles. You have your tires rotated every other oil change. Your air filter and brake pads are changed at the appropriate intervals.
Now, what about your body? You follow the recommended AMA guidelines for routine check ups and other healthcare services. You pay special attention to make sure you eat a balanced diet and always take the time to get enough exercise. The reality is many Americans pay more attention to the maintenance of their car than they do their body.
From an insurance perspective, your automobile insurance company has a certain expectation that you will take reasonable care of your car. Things such as the routine maintenance of brakes and making sure your turning signals work properly are expected by your insurance company. Basic common sense says that proper automobile maintenance reduces traffic accidents and saves both you and your insurance company money.
Health insurance consumers can benefit by taking a similar approach to taking care of their body. For the average American, regular exercise, routine check ups and following your doctor’s advice will reduce your healthcare costs in the long run. It is really very simple. By doing the things necessary to stay healthy, you will need to seek medical care less frequently. With a high deductible plan, you need to be careful to make sure that your deductibles do not, in the long run, cause you to lose money.
Even with a commitment to stay healthy, you will still need health insurance coverage to take care of the unexpected and sometimes unavoidable catastrophic situations. However, instead of paying the insurance company for a $250 deductible, many individuals would benefit by purchasing a high deductible health insurance plan. Depending on the specific situation, it is not uncommon for individuals and families to save up to 25% on premiums with a high deductible plan. Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) can then be set up to coordinate with the high deductible plan. Approaching health care and health insurance along with the appropriate premiums and deductibles wisely will benefit both your body and pocketbook.
Michael Ertel is the President of Ertel & Company ( http://www.ertelandcompany.com ) and has over 15 years of experience in the health insurance business. He is the founder of http://www.MedicalInsuranceNow.com which is an internet based service that assists individuals, families, and small business owners by providing side by side comparisons of health insurance alternatives and the convenience of applying for health coverage online.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/
How To Best Handle Health Insurance Plan Changes
May 4, 2006
Many economists have suggested and recent economic data indicates that the economy is steadily moving in the right direction. A combination of several factors has no doubt had a negative impact on the economy over the last several years.
The recent state of the economy, combined with the increasing cost of healthcare, has made it difficult for all size employers to continue to offer the same level of employee benefits. In the case of health insurance, future plan modifications may be necessary over the next few years. This article should help you with health insurance plan changes – how to negotiate health insurance plan changes, how to prepare for health insurance plan changes, and how to live with health insurance plan changes.
After much consideration, these health insurance plan changes may take the form of increasing deductibles, out of pocket maximums, office visit copays, and prescription copays. Employees may also be required to increase their contribution amount. A vast majority of employees understand the current strain facing employers. Employees are particularly aware of the difficulties faced by medium and small business owners with health insurance costs and, thus, health insurance plan changes.
If you find that plan changes are inevitable, several aspects are very important to pay attention to when modifying your group health insurance coverage. Modify the parts of your plan that provide a savings while having the least impact on your employees. Make sure the changes are fair to both the employer and employee. Develop and execute a strategy that clearly communicates the plan changes as well as the reasons for the health insurance plan changes. Health insurance plan changes are important, and your employees deserve to know everything entailed in these health insurance plan changes. Do not leave the health insurance plan changes completely up to your employees to live with and learn. Explain these health insurance plan changes to them thoroughly and thoughtfully.
When the outlook for your business does improve, your organization’s ability to capitalize will greatly be dependent on your ability to attract and retain productive employees during difficult economic times.
Michael Ertel is the President of Ertel & Company, Inc. and has over 15 years of experience in the health insurance business. He is the founder of http://www.MedicalInsuranceNow.com which is an internet based service that assists individuals, families, and small business owners by providing side by side comparisons of health insurance alternatives and the convenience of applying for health coverage online.
Health Care and Health Insurance Costs Can Be Controlled Through Lifestyle Choices
May 4, 2006
As you probably know all to well, the cost of healthcare and health insurance premiums continue to increase at levels substantially above the general inflation rate. The reasons given for these extraordinary health insurance premium increases are numerous and include: technological advancements in the medical field, increased demand for medical services and prescription drugs, the aging of the population, cost shifting caused by the uninsured and governmental reimbursement rates, state and federal mandates, and costs associated with medical related lawsuits.
As individual consumers who have to pay health insurance premiums, we have very little control over some of the factors contributing to the cost of healthcare. However, all of us have control over lifestyle related health insurance claims. A simple formula of eating a balanced diet, getting the appropriate amount of daily exercise, participating in annual physicals and other recommended routine care, limiting alcohol consumption, and eliminating the use of tobacco products will no doubt reduce our personal healthcare costs and lower your health insurance premiums. In addition to reducing lowering health insurance premiums , the other benefits of following such a formula include more energy, self confidence, less stress, and increased productivity. If you are not doing so already, I encourage you to consider practical ways to promote a healthy lifestyle for you and your family. For example, one of the individual health insurance companies my organization works with has an option that will offset 25% of the annual cost of a health club membership. Simple things such as taking a walk, bike ride, or going swimming promote both a healthy body and mind. If you have a sweet tooth, consider limiting yourself to eating desert once a week. You will enjoy it more and your body will thank you.
Health insurance premiums will continue to increase as long as the cost of healthcare continues to go up. The best way to reduce the overall cost of healthcare is to decrease our need for healthcare, not just lower your health insurance premiums. Healthy lifestyle choices and prudent use of the healthcare system are the best and easiest ways to get a handle on our healthcare expenditures rather than try to lower health insurance premiums. Perhaps the greatest benefit of a healthy lifestyle is our ability to enjoy our precious time here on earth to the fullest.
Michael Ertel is the President of Ertel & Company, Inc. and has over 15 years of experience in the health insurance business. He is the founder of MedicalInsuranceNow.com which is an internet based service that assists individuals, families, and small business owners by providing side by side comparisons of health insurance alternatives and the convenience of applying for health coverage online.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/