"Why does health insurance have to be so complicated?" one might ask, particularly in this season of health exchanges, health savings accounts and broken healthcare web sites. Hey, at least it's not as difficult as the U.S. Tax Code, but just give it time. Health insurance is just one of those things that people don't want to learn about; until they need it, that is. Most of us have had company benefits explained to us time and time again, only to need a refresher course every time open enrollment rolls around. Well, get ready, because if you think it was complicated before you may be blindsided by what's on the horizon.
As healthcare costs rise, many insurance providers have started offering flexible plans to meet every budget. Instead of limiting members to a choice between PPO, HMO and Short-Term health coverage, they started offering high-deductible health plans (HDHPs.) While these plans certainly addressed the hefty monthly premiums, they made it difficult for members to reap the benefits without paying thousands of dollars out-of-pocket. Enter the "Health Savings Account," otherwise known as the HSA.
Are you in straddling two health insurance policies – one that just ended from your old job and another that is yet to begin in your new job? Perhaps you are waiting for that new health insurance policy to take effect and your old company was too small to offer COBRA. If you're young and healthy, it is tempting to wait it out and hope nothing goes wrong with your health during that period. But industry analysts say this type of financial risk should be avoided. It is always smarter to maintain some form of temporary health insurance, even if it is just to cover catastrophic illness.
After the November 2012 election, much of the partisan bickering about repealing Obamacare was silenced. Winning reelection to a second term all but ensured the continuation of the Affordable Care Act, but that didn't mean opponents are giving up the fight. Since its passage three years ago, the new healthcare law has undergone exhaustive criticism, media scrutiny, and a lengthy review by the Supreme Court. But despite the overall political victory, the battle is far from over. With the heart of the reform scheduled to take effect in 2014, the most contentious days for Obamacare may lie ahead.
It seems like as soon as Americans become accustomed to healthcare reform laws, a new one is introduced. Ever since The Affordable Care Act (ACA) became law in 2010, and continued to charge forward amid partisan controversy, the health insurance industry has been dealing with widespread change. And now that President Obama has started his second term in office, the prospect of overturning the law has become a thing of the past
The state of healthcare in America has been changing so rapidly over the past four years, primarily due to the enactment of the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. ObamaCare.) While the jury is still out on whether these healthcare reforms will have a positive or negative impact, most people are seeing higher health insurance rates today than they were four years ago.
A lot has been written about the changes to Medicare, and proposed changes yet to come, so it's no surprise that so many Arizona seniors are confused about their choices. One of the most common questions in this state is, "How do I choose a Part D plan?" According to a recent article from the Tucson Citizen, "Medicare Part D: So many choices!" (October 16, 2012), a study by Health Affairs revealed that seniors overspend on prescription drug plans by more than $368 per year. The reason for this is that they pay for more coverage than they need. In fact, only 5.2 percent of seniors chose the most economical Medicare Part D plan available for them.
When one considers that the promise of healthcare reform and affordable coverage was a major reason why Obama was elected in the first place, it is surprising how much division it has caused throughout the country. No matter where you stand politically, the Affordable Care Act is in the final stages of implementation and it looks like it's here to stay. Arizona is one of many states where a significant portion of the electorate has been forced to go without health insurance; either because they couldn't afford private insurance or they had a preexisting condition. The introduction of state health insurance exchanges is designed to bring solutions for affordable healthcare.
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