Healthcare Crisis In America. Every day, millions of Americans are going without quality healthcare. This report will address the problem and show you a simple solution to get immediate savings on many of your medical and dental expenses, even if you are uninsured or underinsured.
Healthcare Is One Of The Biggest Problems In The Country If you watch TV, read the newspapers, or surf the internet, you?ve seen the topic of healthcare in the media. It seems there?s something in the media every week about the topic of healthcare. The United States of America has one of the best healthcare systems in the world and yet so many people in this country go without quality healthcare.
The Health Care Crisis In America It?s getting harder and harder to afford good healthcare Recent studies show that there are 44 million Americans with no health insurance. In addition to this, there are 70 million people that are underinsured.
The federal government is constantly working to solve this growing problem, but unfortunately, it increases year after year. The federal healthcare plan never got off the ground The best effort so far was an attempt to create national healthcare for all Americans. Congress refused to approve this proposal and the issue has been on the shelf for several years now. Maybe one day a national healthcare system may surface, but no time in the near future. Then individual States tried to fix the healthcare system After the federal government?s attempt to regulate healthcare was placed on the back burner, more states created their own state-specific healthcare regulations. Today, there are hundreds of regulations nationwide for healthcare. The more regulations each state requires, the more the cost for health insurance goes up, making it harder for people to afford.
Over 1 million people filed bankruptcy in 1999... 40% of them were related to medical bills! Just two years before, in 1997, only 28% of the bankruptcies were related to medical bills. What?s happening here folks? Why the dramatic increase of bankruptcies due to medical bills? Why is this happening in a country that has one of the best healthcare systems in the world?
The Uninsured VS. The Underinsured
Harvard law professor, Elizabeth Warren, did a study about the rise in bankruptcies due to medical bills. The results of this study revealed that most of these medically related bankruptcies were filed by people who actually had health insurance.
She stated that underinsurance was a far bigger problem, as opposed to people who were not insured. No health insurance plan is designed to pay for everything. There are always limitations, exclusions and waiting periods that will leave you financially responsible for these out of pocket expenses. Unfortunately, many health insurance policyholders neglect to review these issues and are surprised at the time of their claims. As a result, they get whacked with an OOPS! ? Out-Of-Pocket-Surprise! ? which often means bankruptcy. Insurance companies can?t cover everything that happens to you.
So many people expect health insurance companies to pay for everything. And of course, they can?t. Some states require health insurance companies to accept more people with risky health conditions. This means they have to raise their rates high enough to justify the risk of bringing on more sick people, or they simply go out of business.
The regulations are put in place to help more people get insurance, and the burden falls on the insurance providers to cover them. After they pay their claims and operational expenses, many health insurance companies and HMOs lose money. When this happens, the people that were covered on these policies and plans lose out as well.
Senior Citizens And Medicare HMOs The Medicare HMO solutions seemed to be the ideal way to take care of senior citizens. The money these seniors received from Medicare was accepted by HMOs, so they would have no monthly costs for healthcare. The bad news is that so many well-meaning Medicare HMOs are losing money and failing, leaving millions of seniors wondering what to do next.
Pure healthcare used to be a Doctor-Patient relationship Before the baby-boomer generation, the healthcare system was only the relationship between a patient and a doctor. It was pure and simple: You got sick You called for the doctor They treated you You paid for the service End of story Those were the good old days. But things aren?t that simple any more. How does a health insurance plan work?
If you have health insurance, chances are, it?s with a large insurance company of some type. You complete a health insurance application. The company reviews your current health status and pre-existing conditions. You get declined or accepted. You pay your monthly insurance premium. You get sick or injured. You present your insurance card. You get treated by your doctor, usually through some kind of "network". The claim goes to the health insurance company. The insurance company contracts with large networks to save money. Network providers give insurance companies discounts ranging from 20% to 80%. The medical provider gets paid in 30, 60 or 90 days and later in many cases. Sooner or later you get an individual or statewide rate increase to adjust for claims. Annual insurance rate increases of 20% to 40% are very common these days If you file a big claim, you may be singled out for a rate increase, too. As prices for medical services and supplies go up, insurance companies have to raise their rates accordingly, so they don?t lose money. The more claims an insurance company pays, the more money they have to charge you through rate increases.
Medical Provider Networks And You Can you, as an individual, go directly to a large doctor network and ask for the same discounts they give to health insurance companies? Not a chance. A health insurance company may have a base of 100,000 to 1,000,000 or more covered lives, so naturally a medical provider network has a far greater incentive of giving them good size discounts.
Not only that, the insurance company lists the doctor or medical provider in their network provider directory, which is the equivalent of yellow page advertising. This drives more business to the medical provider. It?s a win-win situation. You alone don?t represent a large enough group of people for medical providers to honor you in that way. Up to now, we?ve discussed some bad news about healthcare. We?ve discussed how "insurance" works. Now let?s move on to discussing a possible solution. Is there another way to get affordable healthcare? A non-insurance solution? Yes....there is a possible solution! Welcome to the new healthcare revolution and Provider Access Organizations (PAO). A Provider Access Organization is an association or organization of thousands of people which formulate direct contracts with some of the medical provider networks used by insurance companies.
Many people may have believed that only insurance companies can have contracts with large doctor and hospital networks, but this is NOT the case. Large associations and organizations may also contract directly with medical providers and have access to reduced "wholesale" rates for healthcare services just like an insurance company.
Many people are not aware that insurance companies receive reduced contracted rates with these networks, which saves the insurance company money. Many medical provider networks are getting tired of the waiting game?waiting for an insurance company to decide to pay claims, which could take 30, 60, 90 days or longer. That is one reason why healthcare savings programs are catching on around the country with large medical provider networks. Why? The medical provider participating in the network gets paid NOW at the time of service?no waiting, no hassles. The member of the Provider Access Organization simply pays a reduced price for healthcare when they need it.
What if you could join the ranks of thousands of other people, who just like you, may be uninsured or underinsured, or just fed up with the high prices of quality health care? Over 6 million households with incomes over $75,000 a year are now uninsured, contrary to popular belief that only the very poor are uninsured. Now, even the middle-class is being hit by the growing healthcare crisis.
Quality health insurance is rising year after year. There are more claims and more regulations than ever, and it is difficult to insure very sick people. The result is a major backfire in the system. There are many people today who just can?t afford to pay $300, $500 or $600 per month for quality healthcare, no matter how good the plan is.
Provider Access Organizations are commonly known Today as Healthcare Savings Programs Early healthcare savings programs were developed in the 1980's, however, many people are starting to hear about them now. The number of healthcare savings programs is growing year after year, as people without health insurance are discovering these non-insurance programs for the first time.
How does a Healthcare Savings Program work? It?s about the closest thing we have to the pure healthcare system of the past. Now you, or anyone, regardless of health or wealth, can enroll and get immediate access to thousands of medical provider networks and vendors, and receive many of the same discounts that were historically only available to large insurance companies.
It?s a non-insurance program that gives you direct discounts from thousands of medical providers all over the country. You have to pay to the "reduced" price in full at the time of service. If you already have insurance, you will not be able to "double dip" with your insurance plan. So insured folks will use it to get discounts on things their insurance plan doesn?t cover at all.
For example, what if this organization could get you discounts on your kid's braces? What if you could get discounts on basic healthcare services like office visits? And what about prescription costs? The prices are getting crazy these days. Bus loads of senior citizens are going to Canada simply to save money on prescriptions. What if you use long-term medications? Imagine getting the same medications at wholesale prices!
Healthcare Savings Programs are growing nationwide Once again, a healthcare savings program is NOT insurance, but it can help you save money by giving you direct access to medical providers without going through an insurance company. If you have health insurance, that?s a good thing. Some health insurance is better than no health insurance. But even if you?ve got insurance, you may be underinsured in some areas that can leave you with out-of-pocket expenses. This may leave you stranded and financially responsible for things your insurance plan doesn?t pick up. For example, your health insurance plan, no matter how good it is, may leave you on the hook for things like critical care air ambulance from one hospital to another. These expenses could easily cost you $8000 to $20,000 or more. There?s a really good chance your health insurance plan doesn?t pick that up.
What about eyewear? Many health insurance companies will not pick up the tab for a quality pair of eyeglasses. There?s a good chance your health insurance plan doesn?t pay for eyewear, either. But there is an area that is usually overlooked on a health insurance plan, and that?s the list of exclusions and limitations. If you read this list, you will find that many situations regarding your health are simply not covered. And so we rest our case. There are many things that even the best health insurance plan doesn?t pay for. And to be fair to them...they can?t. Insurance plans were never designed to pay for every possible thing you need.
There is a concept called self-insurance. This means you should pay for the healthcare expenses you can afford and let the insurance cover the things you cannot afford. If health insurance plans paid for everything, your premium payments could be 3 to 5 times higher than what you?re paying now. Healthcare savings programs help you reduce your self-insured expenses, which are your personal out-of-pocket healthcare expenses.
A Healthcare Savings Program has none of the red tape you would normally experience with health insurance.
? All pre-existing conditions accepted
? 100% approval
? NO claims forms to fill out on most benefits
? NO referral from one doctor to see another
? NO waiting periods on most benefits
? NO one can turn you down because you?re too sick or too old
A healthcare savings program is NOT a replacement for health insurance either. However, it IS an affordable solution if you are:
4. Unable to pay high prices for insurance
Businesses nationwide are suffering from the healthcare crisis, too
Many businesses around the country are either reducing their healthcare costs and cutting benefits for their employees, or dropping health coverage completely. This is very frustrating for business owners, because not only does it cost them thousands or hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars per year in healthcare costs, but it is one of the biggest "expenses" a business owner has as overhead in running a business. It is an increasingly great liability to a business owner, and that is why so many of them are reducing or eliminating health care costs for their employees.
This creates another problem?employee turnover. If a business owner doesn?t offer good benefits, the likelihood of him/her keeping good employees for very long is small. Think about it. Many employees choose to work for a company based on the "benefits" and many choose to leave for another company because of better "benefits." So business owners are stuck in the middle of having to offer a great benefits package, but finding it hard or impossible to afford the rising costs of healthcare. This is where a healthcare savings program can help any business owner or organization in America. It?s a matter of saving money, attracting and keeping more employees, reducing overhead, and staying in business. A business owner may choose to pay for a healthcare savings program for the employees or share in the cost with the employees. Since a healthcare savings program can save money on doctor?s office visits, prescriptions, vision care, hearing care, dental and even medical accident expenses, the business owner doesn?t have to worry about finding a health insurance plan with these services included, and can therefore save money on health insurance. It?s a true win-win situation for employees and business owner alike.
More consumers are buying catastrophic health insurance with higher deductibles and using healthcare savings programs to pay less for out-of-pocket expenses not covered by insurance Check with your local insurance agent about the availability of catastrophic health insurance with high deductibles. Many consumers are choosing to switch to traditional health insurance without all the bells and whistles of office visits, routine physicals, vision care and prescriptions, and using healthcare savings programs to save money on smaller healthcare expenses such as these. Ask healthcare savings programs to save money on smaller healthcare expenses such as these. Ask your insurance agent about an affordable catastrophic insurance option for big bills, and use a healthcare savings program to save money on the little bills. It?s a solution that can possibly save you thousands of dollars a year in healthcare expenses.
Are all healthcare savings programs the same? The answer is NO. Because of the growing need for millions of Americans to find an alternative solution to the health care crisis, hundreds of healthcare savings programs have come into existence over the last few years. You must be a smart consumer and shop for the best healthcare savings program that you can find. Here are some questions you should ask before buying a healthcare savings program:
1. How long has the healthcare savings program been in business?
2. How much money has the organization saved its members to date?
3. What are the savings for an average household?
4. Are there any guaranteed minimum savings for office visits and ancillary facilities?
5. Does the healthcare savings program "buy-down" the benefits for its members?
6. How large is the membership base?
7. Is there a full 30-day money-back guarantee for new customers?
8. How long have some of the medical provider networks or vendors been under contract with the healthcare savings program?
9. Are there any restrictions on the use of any benefits?
10. Are there waiting periods for some benefits. If so, what are they?
11. How many different healthcare savings program packages are offered by theorganization?
12. Are there any enrollment fees or set-up fees to get started?
13. Do they have an actual office building with real employees, or is it only an internet based company?
14. Is the healthcare savings program a member of Consumer Health Alliance? Consumer Health Alliance is a leading consumer protection organization; they set the standards and issue guidelines for quality healthcare savings programs.
15. Does the company provide customer service?
16. Can your personal savings be tracked to see how much money you have saved throughout the year?
17. What are some of the names of the providers or vendors under contract by the healthcare savings program? Are some or many of the providers and vendors recognized companies?
18. Do you receive your healthcare savings card and Membership materials in a timely manner and are the materials of high quality?
News Headlines About Healthcare Crisis In America
USA TODAY November 19, 2002 Health System Tweaks Proposed America's health system is "confronting a crisis" and needs to change, an influential panel says in a report out Wednesday. Costs are rising at their fastest rate in a decade, while the number of uninsured Americans grows.
USA TODAY December 25, 2002 Doctors Find Broken System on Both Sides of the Bed Most people think doctors breeze through the health care system when illness or accident strikes. After all, they're the ultimate insiders.
USA TODAY April 30, 2002 More Patients Get Stuck With the Bills It was bad enough that Terri Orr's husband, Pete, was diagnosed with cancer on Labor Day last year. Then, in the middle of his treatment, her health insurance plan abruptly halted business.
USA TODAY April 25, 2000 Medical Bills Play Big Role In Bankruptcies Disastrous medical bills play a huge role in personal bankruptcies in the United States,accounting for about 40% of the filings last year, a new study found.
USA TODAY February 11, 2002 Medical Costs Can Add Up To Some Healthy Deduction Times are tough. Job cutbacks have squeezed working families. Retirees have seen their income demolished by falling interest rates and the bear market. At the same time, the cost of medical and dental care is soaring. Health care costs are rising more than 7% a year, straining many household budgets...
USA TODAY March 21, 2001 Bush Opposes Bills For Patients' Rights Members of Congress from both parties criticized President Bush Wednesday after he announced his opposition to legislation that would give patients broad rights to sue managed-care companies. USA TODAY December 11, 2002 Workers Find Out Insurance Left Unpaid Jack Perry was stunned when he started getting medical bills for a surgery he'd had weeks earlier. He had called his insurer to make sure everything was covered and pre-approved.
USA TODAY March 14, 2001 Consider National Insurance Upping patients' share of premiums and medical bills won't slow skyrocketing health-care costs. But it will penalize the sick and keep millions away from life-saving care.
USA TODAY January 9, 2002 Monster Costs Lurk In Sickrooms Stories gleaned from the news, tucked around the war coverage: A software company in Washington says it will take $600 more a year out of workers' paychecks to defray a 20% increase in health-insurance costs; a family in Elkhart, Ind., declares bankruptcy because of medical bills;
USA TODAY March 5, 2002 Affordable Remedies Ignored As Nation's Health Woe Perhaps the best measure of the depth of the nation's health care troubles is this: Amid terror warnings, possible war with Iraq, a faltering stock market and a sluggish economy, a new poll says the public's top worry is rising health care costs.
USA TODAY November 21, 2002 More High-Income Americans Go Without Health Insurance Leanne Ely is a radio talk-show host in Southern California. Jay Belle is four years into running his own business in Memphis. Jeanie Whiting is an author and farmer in Washington. All three have household incomes of more than $75 000.
USA TODAY March 12, 2003 States Reduce Services, Drop Many From Medicaid Rolls More than 1 million low-income Americans have lost or might lose government-subsidized health care as states try to contain rapidly escalating costs. The cuts and potential reductions represent about 2% of the 47 million Americans who receive Medicaid, the federal-state health care program for the poor and disabled. Last year, Medicaid cost $250 billion, up 13.4% from 2001.
Summary About Healthcare Savings Programs
The healthcare crisis in America is growing so fast, that it's actually growing faster than inflation. In the United States, we currently spend over $1.3 trillion a year on healthcare, which is more than any other country in the world. A report on World News Tonight announced that healthcare spending is projected to reach $2.8 Trillion in the next 3 to 5 years.
The traditional healthcare system is heavily burdened by the growing numbers of baby boomers ? a population of 70 million people needing more healthcare than ever before in U.S. history. For other industries serving the baby-boomer generation, it was a definite positive income-generating business.
When 70 million baby-boomers were babies, the baby care industry boomed. When they bought cars, the car industry boomed. When they purchased homes, the real estate industry boomed. But what happens when a population of aging 70 million baby-boomers files more claims for health insurance? Claims payments by insurance companies will boom more than ever before and create a financial drain on insurance reserves!
This is one of the factors contributing to why healthcare costs are skyrocketing and accelerating faster than ever, and is predicted to reach multiple trillions of dollars per year in healthcare spending in the next few years.
Government and political leaders keep promising to find a solution to fix the healthcare system, yet healthcare costs continue to mount year after year leaving more Americans uninsured or under insured or just unable to pay the high cost of insurance. More people are filing bankruptcy because of medical bills than ever before.
Many insurance companies and HMOs are failing because they cannot keep up the pace with the high costs to administer healthcare, and they're losing money . . . this is one of the reasons why 50% of all HMOs failed in 1999. Many insurance agents find it harder to get clients today when they are quoting insurance rates of $300, $500, $700 a month and more with annual rate increases of 15% to 25% or more.
Healthcare savings program are destined to become the foundation, or staple, of the future healthcare system. We believe it may be the only option for millions of Americans to get access to the healthcare they need.
A healthcare savings program is NOT a replacement for health insurance. They are not designed to protect you against major catastrophic illnesses or injuries. As more consumers consider using healthcare savings programs to pay a reduced price for smaller medical expenses, insurance companies may have the opportunity to do what they were created to do in the first place, and that is to protect individuals and families from financial ruin due to catastrophic illness or injury. Buy a health insurance plan wisely for the big bills. Buy a healthcare savings program to save you money on the little bills. By doing so, the healthcare system, in time, may improve.