Posts Tagged ‘health insurance’
If you have problems with blood pressure, chances are that your doctor has recommended you to periodically check the pressure value by yourself and bring him results. There are several reasons for this.
First one could be the well-known term white coat hypertension. It indicates the increase in blood pressure level when measured in clinical conditions (e.g., doctor’s office). This occurs due to stress and discomfort that some patients feel on this occasion. It is estimated that, with some patients, blood pressure measured this way can be up to 30mmHg higher than the one patient usually has. It is often considered that measurements performed by a physician have the advantage in the fact that they already include the stress that is normally felt during the day. However, for your doctor, a very useful information is also – how patient’s blood pressure goes through the day, in conditions that are not stressful.
First, you need a blood pressure monitor. These devices are not covered by health insurance, so – if you are willing to take the pressure readings, you may have to purchase device out of your pocket. Most likely you will take a digital monitor, since the monitors based on the use of mercury are getting out of use. In addition, digital monitors (either automatic or semiautomatic) are easier to use. It would be the best to choose a device designed for readings made on your upper arm, as they are more reliable than those that measure blood pressure on the wrist or finger. Strips that are placed around the arm are designed to cover people with standard measures of arm perimeter – if you need longer cuff, note it to the seller.
Before the first measurement, prepare a table to write results (or use some of the online pressure logs). to achieve accurate measurements, try to perform them always in similar conditions, in the room where you can be alone for a couple of minutes. Half an hour before the reading do not smoke, drink coffee or overwork. If necessary, go to the toilet – full bladder may increase your blood pressure. then sit back and relax a bit. Straighten the arm on which you will take the reading, and place it on a flat surface, at heart level (e.g. – on the table in front of you). Inflate the cuff to a level that is about 20mmHg higher than the level of systolic (higher) pressure that you expect (usually that means – from the level of the last measured pressure). then activate the monitor and let the air out of the cuff. Don’t forget – blood pressure can differ on the left and right arm When you do the readings for the first time, pick the arm with higher results, and use that arm from now on.
When recording the results, it is usually recommended to discard the first reading and enter the result of the second one, or – note the average value of the second and third measurement if you measure three times. be sure to consult your doctor about the methodology. Finally, write down the final result and the measurement time. If you have a note that would be important for explaining the obtained result, add a note about it (i.e. – I had a rough day at work, Forgot to take a medicine this morning).
The most important thing is to be honest when recording results. some people tend to round results up or down. Don’t do that. Accurate results will help your doctor to determine the right therapy. Don’t forget – the willingness to regularly and objectively monitor your condition is the test of your level of self-discipline, and this is an important element of treatment.
WASHINGTON — after modest increases last year, the cost of job-based health insurance for families and individuals has jumped sharply this year, even though insurers are paying less in benefits as cash-strapped American workers opt for less medical care.
For the estimated 150 million workers with employer-sponsored coverage, the average cost of family health insurance jumped 9 percent this year to $15,073, while the price of individual coverage rose 8 percent to $5,429.
Both increases are the largest since 2005. each far outpaced a national 2 percent hike in wages and a 3.2 percent rise in inflation, according to an annual survey of nearly 2,100 businesses that the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust released Tuesday.
Premiums for family and individual coverage had increased only 3 percent and 5 percent, respectively, in last year’s survey.
“We don’t know if this is a one-time jump and premiums will go back down again next year or whether we’re entering a period of higher increases. we really don’t know, and we won’t know until next year,” said Drew Altman, the president and CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation.
What is clear, however, is that family coverage premiums have climbed 113 percent since 2001, compared with a 34 percent rise in workers’ wages and a 27 percent increase in inflation over the period.
Employers still absorb the bulk of insurance costs. They pay an average of 72 percent, nearly $11,000, toward the cost of family coverage. Workers pay about 28 percent, an average of $4,129. For single coverage, workers pay about 18 percent, or $921, in premiums, while employers pay the rest, about $4,508.
The rising costs are why more employers and workers are opting for cheaper, high-deductible health plans that require patients to pay $1,000 or $2,000 in medical costs before their coverage kicks in. The survey found that 31 percent of covered workers are in high-deductible plans, up from 10 percent in 2006.
Karen Ignagni, the president of America’s Health Insurance Plans, said the increasing cost of medical care was the main culprit behind the rate increases. Rising medical costs also helped pave the way for the landmark 2010 Affordable Care Act, which overhauled the nation’s health-care system.
but Altman said that this year’s higher premiums, which were set last year, also might reflect insurers’ expectation of a stronger economic recovery this year, with more patients presumably seeking more services.
other insurers may have set rates higher this year thinking that the Affordable Care Act would increase their costs. but analysis by Kaiser and the federal government found that provisions in the new law enacted last year probably accounted for only 1 to 2 percentage points of this year’s premium increases.
“In the end, both assumptions were wrong – but insurance companies still charged high premiums and earned impressive profits,” said a blog post Tuesday by Nancy-Ann DeParle, assistant to the president and the White House deputy chief of staff.
Indeed, profits continue to pour in for insurers, who are spending less for services as covered workers postpone doctor visits and other elective medical procedures during the economic downturn. that trend was reflected in a quarterly measurement of employer health care costs by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which came in at its lowest level in more than 10 years for the first half of 2011, according to DeParle.
- (Reuters/Rick Wilking)A customer drives away from the Walgreens in Westminster, Colorado October 30, 2008.
The company has already been moving toward providing more health care options to the public, including flu shots, health care services for the workplace, and on-site remedies for customers.
Walgreens began offering family healthcare options in more than 350 stores through their “Take Care Clinics” – which offers treatment in everything from acne to bladder infections, and also give physicals and vaccinations – the chain is looking to be a “one-stop shop for all health care needs,” according to media reports.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), which requires nearly everyone to have insurance by 2014, will establish state-based health insurance exchanges through which residents can purchase insurance from participating providers that meet the standards.
This is basically to help the rising number of uninsured and the underinsured in America.
One example of how Walgreens will make this work can be found in the private health insurance exchange that is already up and running at eHealthInsurance, which offers more than 10,000 insurance products online through partnerships with 180 health insurance companies.
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Walgreens has not confirmed or denied the move to health coverage.
“We’re looking at a number of options in light of healthcare reform as we continue to seek ways to help our customers better navigate today’s health care system,” Robert Elfinger, a media relations specialist at Walgreens, said in an email to MedPage Today.
Expected to be a billion-dollar company on the market, Walgreens is getting a head start in hopes of being the number one shop in health care coverage.
Many companies that were “formerly strangers to the health care plan field” are already strategizing ways to “muscle into” the exchange market, Brendon Nafziger of DOTmed News told CNN this week.
Many customers are choosing Walgreens clinics over their regular physicians because of the faster service, quality care, and lower costs.
Some satisfied consumers shared on Yelp:
“I just can’t say enough good things about this clinic. I had a case of strep throat and my doctor said she couldn’t see me for four days. I came in and saw the nurse practitioner here and she was great. She took time to answer all of my questions and I really felt better. I was in and out in about 40 minutes. they billed my insurance for me and all I paid was my $10 co-pay. This clinic is perfect for anyone who wants quality care and can’t wait for their primary doctor.” James a., Chicago IL.
“I went in to this Take Care Clinic before work one morning to get my flu short, and it was about as smooth and easy as a trip to a clinic could be. The staff was super friendly, and the examination room was sparkling clean. After signing in, I was called immediately in and given my shot, all in less than 10 minutes. The nurse… was really, really nice and seemed genuinely happy to be working there. I got to pay for my shot right there in the exam room, so I didn’t even have to get re-directed to the general pharmacy to wait in line. Seriously could not have had a better, easier flu shot experience.” Erin D., Atlanta, GA.
For more information about health care services at Walgreens visit news.walgreens.com/.
a Sangamon County judge would put health insurance for hundreds of thousands of state employees and retirees in jeopardy if he sides with companies opposing Health Alliance's lawsuit against the state, a Health Alliance lawyer said Friday.
Health Alliance and Humana, which lost bids this spring to renew state health-insurance contracts, are suing the state to force it to re-bid the contracts.
They contend the bidding process, which ended with decisions to award new contracts to companies that included HealthLink and Personal Care, was unfair and conducted illegally.
Associate Judge Brian Otwell plans to rule by early October on claims by HealthLink and Personal Care that a section of state law is unconstitutional because it gives a legislative panel veto power over the state's planned expansion of self-funded health insurance.
R. mark Mifflin, an attorney for Health Alliance, argued during a hearing Friday that, under Illinois law, the entire statute authorizing self-funded insurance for state workers would be automatically invalidated if one section were ruled unconstitutional.
a total of about 268,500 state employees, retirees and dependents are covered by the state's self-funded insurance plans.
Lawyers for Personal Care and HealthLink said Mifflin's warning is overblown.
Scott Schutte, representing Personal Care, said the Illinois General Assembly's Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability violated the state Constitution's separation of powers provision May 25.
COGFA's vote – backed up by a subsequent ruling from Otwell – stopped the state from awarding new contracts to HealthLink and Personal Care to operate self-insured "open-access" plans.
"a subset of the legislative branch exercised powers belonging to the executive branch," Schutte said.
Otwell's June 10 ruling led to issuance of temporary contracts that remain in effect with HealthLink, Personal Care and a losing bidder, Health Alliance.
Schutte and Neal Perryman, an attorney for HealthLink, say Otwell could strike down the section of state law giving COGFA "advice and consent" power over self-funded insurance without affecting the state's overall ability to offer self-funded coverage.
The self-funded plan calls for the state, rather than a private company, to cover the full cost of paying health-care claims over a certain time period.
Personal Care and HealthLink join Gov. Pat Quinn's administration and Attorney General Lisa Madigan in their belief that COGFA has no authority to approve or turn down individual health-care contracts.
Dean Olsen can be reached at (217) 788-1543.
I compared the co pays on several reputable dental insurance companies and it is very expensive. many things are not covered, even with the best dental insurance. Health insurance is usually a 10 dollar co pay for primary physicians and a 35-50 dollar co pay for specialty physicians. is there any reason why dental insurance co pay is as expensive as it is?
Because the cost of dental insurance is usually so low….
You only go to the dentist one or twice a year if you don't have any problems, and even if you do have a problem, you only go a few times more than that. I'd rather pay 10 dollars for a physician because I go there more often than I do the dentist.
Also, dental care is really, really expensive, and it's hard for dental insurance companies to make money because people put the dentist last on their list of places to go unless they're in unbearable agony.
Braces cost $5,000 and up where I live, and even a regular teeth cleaning costs three figures. we have a good friend who is a dentist, and he has a hard time earning a living because people put off going, and when they do come they don't like to have any work done anyway.
I'm sure there are many other reasons for the copays being so high, but this is just my experience.
Generally, people don't buy dental insurance unless they are going to have extensive work done so it's a heavily used product. unlike medical, people can put off having dental work done (except emergencies) so it's easier to plan to be insured when it's needed and that throws off the "unknown" that is usually a part of insurance purchases. so, it's priced and copays set with a little more cost shifted to the consumer.
Generally speaking people go to the dentist more than they do a general doctor. most dental plans cover 2 visits a year. I have not been to the docter in over 2 years.
You're wrong about medical copays. some are still $10, but most copays have been getting higher and higher. currently, I'm paying a $25 copay, and I have excellent health insurance.
Typically there are no "copays" with dental coverage. You would be covered at 100% for preventative services, with no deductible. Basic restorative services are subject to deductible (usually around $50) and then paid at 80%, so you owe the remaining 20%. Major services are also subject to deductible, and then payable at 50%.
There are two basic types of health insurance plans available today. There is the traditional care health plan and the managed health care plan. We will examine the traditional health care plan and help you distinguish between the two.
Traditional care insurance can also be known as “fee for services” or “indemnity plans”. Traditional care insurance plans have the following features:
You usually pay a higher out of the pocket expense at the time of service. this can also include expenses up to a set deductible limit.
Once you meet the deductible limits, you then share the bill with the insurance company. for instance, your insurance company may pay 80 percent and you have to pay 20 percent. you will continue to share the bill until you reach your maximum out of pocket expenses. After this the insurance company will pay 100 percent of expenses up to its cap.
You could be responsible for keeping your own records of expenses. you might have to submit a request for reimbursement from your insurance company.
The insurance corporation will only pay for usual and customary expenses. any additional charges or expenses will have to come out of your pocket.
Not every insurance company will offer a wellness or preventative care with this type of plan.
The traditional insurance corporation usually has very few restrictions on which medical providers and specialists you can see and use.
If your plan is a catastrophic or high deductible major medical health plan, you will generally have lower annual premiums than a plan with a lower deductible.
Today, traditional health care plans are becoming increasingly hard to find, as most insurance companies are switching to a managed care plan solution.