Health Insurance

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Health Insurance is a type of insurance whereby the insurer pays the medical costs of the insured if the insured becomes sick due to covered causes, or due to accidents. The insurer may be a private organization or a government agency. Market based health care systems such as that used in the United States rely on private medical insurance.

Private Health Insurance

Health insurance is one of the most controversial forms of insurance because of the conflict between the need for the insurance company to remain solvent versus the need of its customers to remain healthy, which many view as a basic human right. This conflict exists in a liberal healthcare system because of the unpredictability of how patients respond to medical treatment. Suppose a large number of customers of a particular insurance company were to contract a rare disease costing 10 million dollars to fight for each patient. The insurance company would be faced with the choice of either charging all its future customers astronomical contributions (thus losing customers and going out of business), paying all claims without complaint (thus going out of business) or fighting the customers in an attempt to deny the costly treatment (thus outraging patients and their families, and becoming a target for lawsuits and legislation).

Related: Hospital Reviews: Where Does Your Healthcare Provider Rank?

There are further economic problems with private health insurance. Asymmetry of information about a persons health and behavior is likely to lead to adverse selection and moral hazard. In essence, those seeking health insurance are likely to be those with existing medical problems or high likelihood of future medical problems and those who take out insurance may engage in risky behavior, such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, which they otherwise would not. These problems may lead to ‘good’ insurance risks being priced out of the market or even insurance being uneconomical to provide. With publicly funded health insurance the good and the bad risks are all included in the coverage and the same moral hazard applies. Further, every risk must subsidize the unhealthy, and those that take care of their health have no opportunity to avoid this subsidization.

Publicly Funded Medicine

Many countries have made the societal choice to avoid this important conflict by nationalizing the health industry so that doctors, nurses, and other medical workers become state employees, all funded by taxes; or setting up a national health insurance plan that all citizens pay into with tax or quasi-tax payments, and which pays private doctors for health care. These national health care systems also have their problems.

Some of these countries have citizen groups which protest bureaucracy and cost-cutting measures that unduly delay medical treatment. Similar issues exist with private health management insurances (HMO) in countries with privately funded medicine.


In the United States, health insurance is made more complicated by Federal Medicare/Medicaid programs, which have had the unintended consequence of determining the price of medical procedures. Many suspect that these prices are set independently of medical necessity or actual cost. A physician who refuses to accept a Medicare/Medicaid payment will be banned from accepting any such payments for a number of years, regardless of the reason for rejecting the payment or the amount offered. In either case, this means that private insurers have little incentive to pay more than the government does.

History and Evolution

Today, most comprehensive private health insurance programs cover the cost of routine, preventative, and emergency health care procedures, and also most prescription drugs, but this was not always the case.

Back in the late 19th century, early health insurance was actually disability insurance, in the sense that it covered only the cost of emergency care for catastrophic injuries that could (and often did) lead to a disability. This artifact of history persisted right up to the start of the 21st century in some jurisdictions (like California), where all laws regulating health insurance actually referred to disability insurance. Patients were expected to pay all other health care costs out of their own pockets, under what is known as the fee-for-service business model.

As the Industrial Revolution matured during the middle-to-late 20th century, traditional disability insurance evolved into modern health insurance as both employers and governments recognized the value of encouraging patients to seek regular checkups and preventative care from primary care physicians. It is usually much cheaper to treat diseases like cancer if they are diagnosed early.

Common complaints of private insurance

Some common complaints about private health insurance include:

  1. Insurance companies do not announce their health insurance premiums more than a year in advance. This means that, if one becomes ill, he may find that his premiums have greatly increased. This largely defeats the purpose of having insurance in the eyes of many.
  2. If insurance companies try to charge different people different amounts based on their own personal health, people will feel they are unfairly treated. Some states require that insurance companies cover all who apply at the same cost, or that rates vary only by age of the insured; this rule has the effect (called adverse selection) that healthy people subsidize sick ones, and thus frequently only those in poor health buy insurance, making the premiums very expensive.
  3. When a claim is made, particularly for a sizeable amount, it may be deemed in the best interest of the insurance company to use paperwork and bureaucracy to attempt to avoid payment of the claim or, at a minimum, greatly delay it. Some percentage of insureds will simply give up, leading to lower costs for the insurance company.
  4. Health insurance is often only widely available at a reasonable cost through an employer-sponsored group plan. This means that unemployed individuals and self-employed individuals are at a disadvantage.
  5. Employers can write some or all of their employee health insurance premiums off of their taxable income whereas traditionally individuals have had to pay taxes on income used to fund health insurance. This reduces the employee’s bargaining power in negotiating service with the insurance provider and also increases their dependence on the employer. In the U.S., COBRA and more recent legislation has been passed in an attempt to address the latter concern, and full tax deductibility for health insurance premiums paid by the self-employed has recently been passed by Congress as well.
  6. Experimental treatments are generally not covered. This practice is especially criticized by those who have already tried, and not benefited from, all “standard” medical treatments for their condition. It also leads to many insurers claiming or attempting to claim that procedures are still “experimental” well after they have become standard medical practice in many instances. (This phenomenon was especially seen after organ transplants, particularly kidney transplants, first became standard medical practice, due to the tremendous costs associated with this procedure and other organ transplantation.)
  7. The Health maintenance organization (“HMO”) type of health insurance plan has been criticized for excessive cost-cutting policies. The least justifiable of these efforts, according to critics, is having accountants or other administrators essentially making medical decisions for customers by deciding which types of medical treatment will be covered and which will not.
  8. As the health care recipient is not directly involved in payment of health care services and products, they are less likely to scrutinize or negotiate the costs of the health care received. To care providers, insured care recipients are essentially seen as customers with relatively limitless financial resources who don’t look at prices. The health care company has few popular and many unpopular ways of controlling this market force. In response to this, many insurers have implemented a program of bill review in which insureds are allowed to challenge items on a bill (particularly an in-patient hospital bill) as being for goods or services not received; if this is proven to be the case, the insured is awarded with a percentage of the amount that the insurer would have otherwise paid for this disputed item or items, usually 25% or occasionally even 50%, with a ceiling so that the insured will not truly become wealthy from this procedure.

Common complaints of publicly funded medicine

  1. Price no longer influences the allocation of resources, thus removing a natural self-corrective mechanism for avoiding waste and inefficiency.
  2. Health care workers’ pay is often not related to quality or speed of care. Thus very long waits can be had before care is received.
  3. Because publicly funded medicine is a form of socialism, many of the general concerns about socialism can be applied to this discussion.

Future Challenges

With the advent of DNA testing, previously unknown risk factors involving ones genetic makeup will become known and this is expected to lead to greater pressure on the private health insurance industry as they try to limit their exposure to high-risk individuals. As larger groups of these individuals are identified and charged higher premiums (if they can get coverage at all) the pressure on privacy laws to limit the flow of personal medical data will only increase.

Article  reproduced from Wikipedia.  All text is available under the terms of the GNU  Free Documentation License (see Copyrights for  details). Disclaimers.

Vacation Insurance… Saves Your Money, Time And Frustrations!

Don’t forget your vacation insurance before you take off for any travel.

I am very serious when it comes to health insurance, I do not want to take any chances, I grew up in a family with my mother as a sole bread winner, my Dad passed away when I was 10 years old without any insurance. Life was very very difficult then.

So the same goes with vacation health insurance too!

It can cost you an extra few thousands of dollars if the cruise or tour operator goes bankrupt, or if you need to shorten your vacation due to sickness or injury. Vacation insurance is important in preventing this.

Quick Tip

The biggest myth would be that your normal health insurance covers you when you are away, or that since many travelers visit an area or region, access to medical care is easy or affordable.  This is not true, which is why vacation insurance is important.

Here’s a quick guide to understanding what a good vacation insurance should cover for any travel.

1. Travel Curtailment

If you or an immediate family member becomes seriously ill or is injured during the vacation most vacation insurance companies would reimburse you for the unused portion of the vacation.

2. Travel Cancellation

You would be reimbursed if the cruise line or tour operator goes out of business. It would also reimburse you if you have to cancel the vacation due to sickness, a death in the family or other calamity listed in the insurance policy.

Travel cancellation is very different from a Cancellation Waiver that many cruise and tour operators offer. Waivers are relatively inexpensive. They provide coverage if you have to cancel the trip, but they have many restrictions.

They must be purchased when you book the trip and will usually not cover you immediately before departure. Most importantly, waiver is not insurance.

2. Personal liability

Personal Liability is important in case of legal liability, arising out of one’s negligence in causing a third party injury (or death) and/or third party property damage.

Some traveler insurance companies even insure against the loss or theft of golfing equipment and laptops.

3. Luggage/Baggage/Flight Delay

This feature comes along with a “Time” excess, meaning that the traveler insurance companies only compensate when the delay exceeds a certain time frame. The limit for loss of luggage/baggage/flight varies, usually with a cap for individual items.

4. Emergency & Medical Assistance and Information Service

Look for those 24-hour services that offer information on visa requirements, foreign exchange, weather forecasts and medical advice et cetera.

Emergency evacuation is very helpful indeed for inexperienced travelers or travelers with medical conditions or for those who are traveling to more remote and less traveled places.

These service centers may also offer emergency assistance in the form of embassy, legal, interpreter and medical referrals.

Most vacation insurance policies would compensate a couple of hundred dollars for each day of hospitalization up to the maximum limit indicated in their respective packages.

This is solely to compensate the traveler for the number of days spent in a hospital overseas and should not be mistaken as hospital or medical reimbursement, which takes care of the hospital and ward charges.

4. Accidental Death insurance

Personal accident coverage, which is to compensate the insured for permanent or temporary disablement or death as a result of an accident.

2 Main Types of Vacation Insurance

Annual Policy

Most traveler insurance companies offer vacation insurance on annual basis as well as per trip basis. Annual policies cover unlimited trips made by the insured during the entire year provided that each trip does not exceed a certain number of days, usually 90 days.

No declaration is required.

For frequent flyers, this type of cover would be most ideal in terms of cost and convenience.

Family Vacation Insurance

Family packages are also designed to cater for immediate families traveling together. Definition of immediate families would mean you, your spouse and your children.

Family vacation insurance are usually priced lower premium than if individual insurance policies were to be taken up for the whole family.

Special Features ALERT!

Go for vacation insurance policies come with higher deductible and this translates into lower premium.

The worst case scenario is you may end up having to bear the first $40 or $50 of every claim that you make.

Deductible: (Also known as Excess in UK, NZ, AU) This is the amount that the insured must pay before the vacation insurance starts paying for your claim.

This may be an annual amount, an amount for the duration of the policy, or an amount for each incident. Choose the latter.

For those of you who intend to engage in water or winter sports during your vacation, it would be wise to take up your insurers who offer free coverage for such activities.

Some traveler insurance companies may charge an additional premium for this extension, so it is better to check this point before you effect your cover.

Unfortunately, the definition of water sports in the typical travel policy does not include scuba diving.

Not surprisingly, bungee jumping is excluded from most policies. Watch out for age limits imposed by some traveler insurance companies, meaning that persons exceeding a certain age are excluded from their coverage. But if you belong to this elderly group, fret not.

There are traveler insurance companies that do not impose any age limit and offer the same coverage at no additional premium loading.

A unique coverage that is being offered in the traveler insurance market is the “Car Rental Excess”. This feature takes care of the excess amount that the insured normally has to bear (under the motor policy taken up at car rental companies) in the event of damage to the rented vehicle while driving overseas.

Price of Vacation Insurance also known as Premium – Premium Computation

For “per-trip” policies, the premium payable hinges considerably on the number of days of travel, the country of destination and choice of plan.

For example, if you are from Europe, a vacation in USA warrants a much higher premium than a trip within Europe for the same number of days.

Some traveler insurance companies provide the option of higher limits of coverage at of course, a higher premium.

If price is of concern, it is advisable to keep on hand the premium schedule from a few traveler insurance companies for comparison before you activate your insurance before each trip.

Claim Procedure

I consider this the most important aspect of buying a vacation insurance.

All traveler insurance companies will require you to lodge your claims within a certain time frame. You would be required to complete and submit a claim form, which can be obtained from the traveler insurance company.

In almost all instances, your claims must be accompanied by relevant documents, such as medical receipts for medical reimbursement or hospital cash; a police report for loss of money or personal documents; an official letter from the airline in cases of flight or lugguage delay and loss of lugguage if within custody of the airline.

In all cases, call up and inform your traveler insurance company immediately for necessary advice.

There you are… now with a basic knowledge of vacation insurance, you are equipped to choose the best suited to your travel needs and you are all set to fly! Make sure you get your vacation insurance well in advance. Your vacation insurance may take some time to process, so get working on vacation insurance today!

About The Author
As a business traveler, Jonathan has traveled extensively within America, across Asia and Europe. Last minute travel is the norm for him, you can check out his Last Minute Vacations Guide at

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“How To Get Fit And Slash Your Health Insurance Costs”

Okay, before we start, let me explain the purpose of this article on health insurance costs. I want you to get so healthy, you’ll never need to make a health insurance claim. You’ll save money on health insurance costs by increased fitness. You’ll save money with a long no-claims insurance history. And you’ll look and feel much better at the same time as enjoying lower health insurance costs.

There’s three sides to your maximum health and fitness. Diet, and Exercise. But that’s only two ! Let me split Exercise into Aerobic exercise and Aneorobic exercise.

Get all three right. Get the right balance. And you’ll get as fit and healthy as your body and genetics will allow.  These will help you lower your health insurance costs.

Whole forests of paper have been filled with advice on each of these fitness factors. Just go into your local bookstore, and see shelves of diet advice. Shelves of exercise advice. Advice that will help you lower health insurance costs.

Funny how so much contradicts itself, especially for diet e.g right next to each other on the shelf, you’ll find a book advocating low carbs & low fat; another saying high fat is okay if you keep the carbs low. Yet another focuses on high protein, and says carbs don’t matter…

* Diet

Let me give you this simple diet advice. Stick to low fat, low carbs and high protein. Many medical and weight loss studies over the last 10-20 years prove this approach. Many other diet myths come from way back in time, and look just plain wrong when analyzed with modern methods.  This is a tried and true method of lowering your health insurance costs.

* Aerobic Exercise

Couch potatoes don’t realize how easily they can start feeling fit and healthy. Just walk somewhere 3-4 times per week, for around 20 minutes each time.

Ideally, do some more demanding aerobic exercise. I do a lot of cycling, because it’s great low-impact exercise. And I get to see beautiful scenery while I ride.

Running provides even more intensive aerobic exercise, but careful of your joints. Maybe you prefer hiking, to see the local countryside ? Or take up a sport like rowing or tennis. You also get to meet new friends by taking up exercise as a sport.

* Anaerobic Exercise

Many people work on their diet. Many people take aerobic exercise. But many people ignore anaerobic exercise, or weight training.

What makes weight training so important ?

As you get older, muscle mass decreases. Muscle burns fat. So as you lose muscle, it gets harder to keep the fat off. Equally important, weight training can reshape your body.

No matter how much aerobic exercise you do, you’ll still be a pear shape (a smaller pear shape) if you started out a pear shape.

Using weights you can flatten your stomach, tone your thighs, bulk up your chest and shoulders, and reshape your body any way you want.

Weight training is incredibly beneficial to your general skeleton strength and conditioning. Older women can reduce the effects of osteoporosis, and older men can maintain their strength and agility.

This short article can do nothing more than provide an introduction to the three keys to your health. Follow these and you shouldn’t need to make a health insurance claim.

Slash your health insurance costs with a long no-claims bonus. Slash your health insurance costs with any insurer who rates your fitness.  Make sure your health insurance plan has a program that cuts health insurance costs based on your exercise. Shop around and find the program that offers you the lowest health insurance costs based on your exercise. Greater rewards, lower health insurance costs.

Discover important health insurance facts and advice. Find out more about low carb foods, and how to lose weight quickly and easily.

About The Author
Neil Stelling BSc, MBA
© DigiLectual Inc. 2004

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Choosing Affordable Health Insurance For Children

In most cases, private health insurance for children or family comes through a person’s employer, who picks up the majority of the cost of premiums. However, today many people, who are either self-employed or who work for a company that doesn’t offer health insurance for children or themselves, find it necessary to obtain quality affordable health insurance for children.

There are a wide range of plans and offerings of affordable health insurance for children and it’s necessary to pick and choose from among the many child health insurance plans available. For example, if you feel your family may need alternative health options such as massage therapy or acupuncture, you’ll want to make sure your health insurance plan covers these choices for children.

Affordable Health Insurance For Children and families.

Another consideration is the cost of your health insurance plan for children. Generally, the higher your premiums the lower your deductible. But, don’t let the lure of have no health insurance plan for children persuade you that affordable health insurance for children is something you don’t need. That simply isn’t the case. The cost of a major hospital visit can vastly exceed any premiums you may have not paid over the past several years for health insurance plans for children.

Experts tell us that it’s very important that children have access to quality health care as they grow up and most people agree that in this day and age, everyone needs some type of health insurance coverage. With it you’ll have more peace of mind and, should you become ill, you’re covered.

The good news is there are quite a number of low cost health insurance plans for children available and navigating the maze of available policies is easier than ever with the help of the Internet.

About The Author
Mike Yeager, Publisher
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Solve Your Health Care Headaches With A PEO!

There are many complications to being a small business owner but none so pressing as the need for health, dental and life insurance. Many small business owners obtain coverage through the employment of their spouse. However, there are just as many small business owners who are not married, whose spouse is also self employed or not offered benefits through their employer.

Another option for a small business owner is to partner with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO). PEO’s, also known as employee leasing companies, handle the human resources functions of companies of any size but they focus primarily on small and medium sized businesses. Some of the human resources functions handled by a typical PEO are:

  • Payroll
  • Direct Deposit
  • Worker’s Compensation Insurance
  • Health Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Retirement Plans
  • Tax Deposits and Reporting
  • Regulatory Compliance

A PEO groups together businesses of all sizes in order to get the best rates for benefits and to reduce human resources costs to a minimum. In order to work with a PEO you will be asked to fill out an application and provide a set-up fee ranging from $50.00 to $300.00 depending upon the size of your business. Monthly fees will be determined by the PEO and are usually based on the number of payroll checks issued during each month and the number of employees. Your company will be billed, at least monthly, for the cost of fees, benefits, taxes, etc. not paid by employees.

After signing a contract with a PEO your employees will need to fill out employment and tax forms that will then be forwarded to the PEO. The PEO then becomes the employer of record for the employees and from then on handles all payroll and benefit tasks. Timesheets, benefit enrollments and changes will all be submitted to your PEO and you will receive regularly scheduled management reports. At the end of a calendar year the PEO will provide all employees with a W-2.

Some PEO’s work with companies in every state and others are state specific. You can find individual PEO’s by using a search engine such as Google. You can save time by using the free services of a PEO clearinghouse such as You can also find a SEO by visiting The National Association of Professional Employers Association (NAPEO) at NAPEO offers a directory of members searchable by company name, state or country and offers guidelines to help you screen and select a PEO.

A PEO may not be the perfect solution for every small business but it is an option for individuals and companies who are willing to outsource human resource functions to obtain much needed benefits, improve employee retention and save time that can be better used to growing the business.

© 2003, Davis Virtual Assistance. All rights reserved.

The author grants reprint permission to all venues so long as the copyright and by-line are included intact.

About The Author
Bonnie Jo Davis is the President of virtual assistant firm http://www.DavisVirtualAssistance and the author of the new e-book “Articles That Sell.” Visit for frugal small business marketing tips.
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A Buyer’s Guide to Medical Insurance

Buying travel health insurance can be a complex task. There are so many different plans – each with different benefits and restrictions.

It is important to shop wisely for trip insurance. Many people buy coverage that seems inexpensive only to find out that they are not adequately covered when a medical emergency occurs. Below are a few key questions you should ask your insurance provider before purchasing trip insurance:

  • What is not covered by the policy? Insurance companies call these “exclusions,” and every policy has them.
  • Are there specific exclusions relating to sports or other activities?
  • Does the plan have a deductible that you must pay each time you file a claim?
  • Does the plan deny benefits if your medical emergency arises because of a “pre-existing condition or health problem”?

Knowing the answers to these questions can help you avoid unpleasant surprises when you make a claim. Make sure you understand exactly what your trip insurance plan covers. When in doubt, call your insurer. A reputable insurance company can give you straight answers to your questions. Most offer toll free numbers so you can call them directly from wherever you are.

If you find that a plan has too many restrictions and complications, or that your questions are not being answered satisfactorily, do not hesitate to look somewhere else.

A comprehensive travel health insurance plan usually covers the following emergency medical expenses:

  • Hospital accommodations
  • Medical bills such as those for a physician, surgeon, and anesthetist
  • Ambulances
  • Diagnostic services such as laboratory tests and x-rays
  • Private registered nurses
  • Medical aids such as slings or splints, and the temporary rental of wheelchairs or walkers
  • Prescription drugs
  • Cost of returning a deceased back home

Remember that when it comes to insurance, you get what you pay for. When shopping around for trip insurance, it is important to keep in mind that not all insurance policies are alike. Be aware of minor price variations between insurance companies (the cheapest may not be the best company to deal with when you have a claim.)


About The Author
Johnny Mangiante is an online journalist. He is also the editor and webmaster for many websites. For more information on Travel Medical Insurance for Visitors to Canada see his website

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Senior Health Care Insurance

When a good friend of mine inquired where he could obtain information about medical insurance for his out-of-state, elderly mother, I told him to try the Internet.

He reported back to me about a week later, in desperation: “I am giving up, I am too confused.” He had taken on an overwhelming project with his widowed mother, living in another state. As the only child, and following the sudden death of his father, it was his responsibility to care for his mother.

In this world of technology, the family unit is often living in different geographical areas and the family members are usually quite involved with their own lives, careers, and families. In addition, when both parents are alive, often one or both parents are quite independent and do not require a lot of assistance. As time goes on things, of course, change, and sometimes change very suddenly. There can be a crisis, with regard to the health care needs of one or both aging parents.

With our baby boomers facing this problem in ever increasing numbers, and with the information highway in full bloom, there is a definite need for planning.

Protecting your parent’s assets and health is a huge and daunting undertaking, which requires a tremendous amount of education and practical application. Our seniors face many diverse responsibilities upon reaching age 65. To name just a few: Estate planning, taxation, Medicare, social security, wills, insurance, and various other legal and financial matters. All of these different areas require expertise from accountants, lawyers, estate planners, insurance agents, home brokers, financial advisers, and others.

The Internet is a good starting point for most people to find resources for questions and solutions for your problems. There is, however, no replacement for good solid intelligent advice from an expert.

Twenty years ago, insurance for elders was sold by “senior insurance specialists”, with just a handful of companies in each state. The programs were most often Medi-gap or Medicare supplemental policies, which covered the expenses not covered by Medicare, including hospital and doctor deductibles, durable medical devices, and non-approved Medicare costs. Ironically these specialists did not sell a lot of nursing care policies, even though Medicare paid a national average of less than 2% of these expenses. With the advent of “financial and estate planning” and more insurance companies entering this market, a more broad and diversified product line became available to agents, brokers, planners, and seniors.

Part of this new diversification was the “home health care plan”, sold by itself, and in conjunction with senior health insurance products. The appeal of the “home health care policy” was that a senior could stay at home and still receive medical and custodial benefits, allowing a person to recuperate in the comfort of their own home.

This was the answer to a huge problem. The last place an older person wanted to go was a “retirement home”, or “rest home”, or, God forbid, the “nursing home.” It appeared that seniors could now rely on this new innovation without worry of having to move out of their home environment in the event of a health problem.

As with most things,” if it is too good to be true”…. The home health care policy is no exception. The problem is, there is not enough coverage for a lengthy illness or recuperation time. The fact is, the new trend is toward an “all in one” type facility, allowing for a variety of levels of care all in one location. In other words a senior could start off with little or no health care concerns in an independent, less expensive area, and then go to an assisted living, or nursing care facility, all within the same compound.

A “nursing home” requires a nurse on the premises 24 hours per day, assisted living is just eight hours. The advantages to this are financial. The patient or senior is only charged according to the care level required during the time he or she is admitted to that facility. Another benefit is it alleviates a lot of planning because the care is delivered, as it is needed. The medical attention is available to all residents regardless of their current health.

Some people are offered a lifetime package, which covers their care for the rest of their life, regardless of their current age. It also allows for social outlets to an otherwise somewhat isolated group. On-line shopping services have become a huge business. It is definitely here to stay and many insurance policies are purchased from Internet quotes and on-line applications.

There are literally hundreds of thousands of insurance agents and brokers advertising on the Internet. Most of them will provide instant on-line quotes and even applications for the potential insured. I highly discourage a layperson to purchase insurance in this fashion. A little knowledge can be dangerous.

The federal government has mandated to all states through legislation, the standardized senior health insurance policy guidelines, which are governed and regulated by each state insurance department.

There are plans for almost every level of health. Some are designed and priced for a less than healthy individual. Others are for a person with minimal health concerns. . The whole concept of insurance is to provide protection for “unanticipated” sickness or injury, especially catastrophic expenses, which would devastate a person’s net worth. The more small expenses a person is willing or able to pay (self-insure), the lower the rate. I recommend this strategy when evaluating your insurance options.

Another consideration when reviewing various insurance plans is to look at the company itself. How long has the company been selling this type of insurance? Do they have a lot of complaints filed with the local department of insurance? Are the rates stable? Does it pay claims on time? Service? Most agents talk about the rating. These ratings are as follows: A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, or “not rated”.

Do not be fooled by rating alone. It is good to have a high rating, but it is far better to have a company that has longevity, stability, innovation, service, and expertise. The problem is that some companies enter into a market and quickly leave without explanation. This does not give security to the policyholder.

The most important consideration should be a review of the profit/loss ratio for that product. This will establish stability, and longevity in the market. An insurance company with a moderate profit in a particular line of business will remain in that market. On the other hand, a company with losses will make changes and possibly even withdraw. This is information not normally available to Internet users.

Before entering into an insurance contract, the senior person, the family, and other advisors must be realistic, and a careful evaluation of the entire picture must be examined. The age, the health of the senior, the financial resources, the personality and attitude of the senior, and most importantly the desires of the senior, should all be considered.

Early planning is important, as qualification becomes increasingly more difficult as the applicant’s health declines. The senior health care market is complex. I will offer some words of advice to attempt to alleviate potential pitfalls. *C hoose a well-informed, seasoned, and service oriented agent or broker to assist your decision making process. The professional can offer invaluable information, but do not be afraid to ask a lot of questions and even get a second opinion. *Do not wait until your parent or loved one is sick, or injured. Plan ahead and take the time needed to cover all the options. *C hoose an experienced insurance company. A Company that has been in the marketplace for a significant time and has maintained a balance of rates and benefits and sound risk selection with moderate rate increases over time is your best bet. The plan should be flexible, with a broad range of options and benefit selections to the insured. There should be no tricks, or complicated language for the coverage. An incredibly low rate is a red flag for trouble in the future. *Do not rush or be rushed by an over aggressive sales person.

This policy will not be inexpensive and will need to be read and reviewed for a clear understanding of the contents. This is one advantage to the Internet. You are allowed to read indefinitely before you act.

A long-term care program, with or without insurance coverage, will only work if the senior has input into the care selection process. If there are any questions about the accreditation of a facility please call the “Continuing Care Accreditation Commission at 202-783-7286.

About The Author

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Individual Health Insurance Plans

When looking for individual health insurance plans it’s important to remember that generally you’ll find better rates if you deal directly with the insuring company. The internet now allows individuals the chance to plug in a few personal details and obtain individual health insurance plans quotes. Some questions to consider when choosing your coverage are the following:

1) Is it important that you keep your current Doctor?

2) Is it important that you have access to alternative care such acupuncture or massage therapy?

3) How high a deductible are you comfortable with?

Individual Health Insurance Plans tailored to your needs.

Most people looking for individual health insurance plans are seeking modest insurance coverage, but they also want some of the basic essentials such as regular Doctor visits and prescription coverage. Keep in mind that your premium costs will vary depending on how high your deductible is and what kind of coverage you have. Generally the higher the deductible, the lower your monthly premiums. When choosing your coverage try to match low prices with quality coverage.

About The Author
Mike Yeager

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Beat Your Competition By Controlling The Cost Of Your Health Insurance

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Encourage wellness. What is the old saying? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of gain in lowering health insurance costs.
  5. 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 which is a website that assists individuals and small business owners by providing side by side comparisons of health insurance alternatives.

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Insurance For The Self Employed And Those Seeking Health Insurance

First of all, congratulations on deciding to go out and make it on your own. The rewards and excitement of making it on your own and being self employed can not be found anywhere else. Now, when looking for insurance for the self employed for a person like yourself, it’s important to remember that generally you’ll find better rates if you deal directly with the insuring company when seeking self employed insurance. There are many confusing options available but the good news is that there are quite a number of affordable health-insurance programs out there, and navigating the maze of available policies is easier than ever with the help of the Internet. The internet now allows individuals the chance to plug in a few personal details and obtain information on insurance for the self employed.

Some questions to consider when choosing your coverage are the following:

1) Is it important that you keep your current Doctor?

2) Is it important that you have access to alternative care such acupuncture or massage therapy?

3) How high a deductible are you comfortable with?

Insurance for the Self Employed tailored to your needs.

Most people looking for insurance for the self employed are seeking modest insurance coverage, but they also want some of the basic essentials such as regular Doctor visits and prescription coverage. Keep in mind that your premium costs will vary depending on how high your deductible is and what kind of coverage you have. Generally the higher the deductible, the lower your monthly premiums.

When choosing your coverage try to match low prices with quality coverage. Don’t let the lure of having no insurance coverage persuade you that health insurance, even if you’re seeking insurance for the self employed, is not something you need. That simply isn’t the case. The cost of a major hospital visit can vastly exceed any premiums you may not have paid over the past several years.

About The Author
Mike Yeager, Publisher

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