Canada Health Insurance For Newcomers

When arriving in Canada, one of the most important things a newcomer needs to do is acquire health insurance. In most provinces you will receive coverage as soon as you apply, but many immigrants do not realize that national health care is not always available on the first day they arrive. Provinces such as British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick, require that immigrants wait at least three months before they are eligible to receive health plan benefits. After arriving in Canada it is important to apply for your health insurance card. If you are immigrating to a province that has a three month waiting period, you should purchase private, short-term health-care insurance.

If you reside in a province that does not require a three month waiting period, each member of your family must have their own health card. You can obtain an application form from the provincial health ministry office, hospital, doctor’s office, or a pharmacy. To apply for a health card, you will need your passport, Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM 5292) or birth certificate. Health care services will only be offered to people who have their own names on the health card that they provide. Immigrant organizations are available to help with filling with out application forms

If you are living in a province that requires a three month waiting period, you can purchase a private, short-term health-care insurance plan. Private health plans provide comprehensive coverage for a variety of health conditions and medical emergencies. There are plans that can be purchased before you arrive in Canada. If you purchase insurance from your originating country, read the policy carefully to make sure you are still covered once you arrive in Canada.

Canada’s national health care system does not cover dental care but there are private plans that will cover dental procedures. It is important to make sure your family members are also covered. Some insurance companies have stipulations for buying private health insurance that may include a standard deadline to apply for insurance after arriving in Canada. The cost of health care coverage depends on the insurance provider you choose, health history, the type of insurance package, and your age and your dependent’s ages. Some insurers may have specific conditions attached to particular insurance plans.

Most private health insurance plans include extended health care benefits such as prescription drugs, medical supplies, hearing aids, vision care, hospital rooms, and complementary health services such as chiropractic and registered massage therapy. They can also cover dental plans, disability income, critical illness coverage, travel insurance, and accidental death and dismemberment benefits.

For more information about obtaining private health insurance and different health plans private health insurers provide, you can contact the Consumer Assistance Centre of the Canadian Life and Health Insurance OmbudService (CLHIO). In Ontario, Settlement.org provides the Guide to Supplementary Health Insurance booklet that helps newcomers understand health insurance. The booklet is also helpful when newcomers are deciding which health plan will meet their needs. Settlement.org also provides a list of companies that provide private health insurance. Insurance brokers are an alternative to insurance companies. Because brokers represent several different health insurance companies and have access to different plans, they are often able to provide more choices and a better price.

Acquiring a health care plan is an essential part of settling in Canada. In case of an emergency, it is important to have the right health insurance plan that meets you and your family’s needs. With all of the new experiences waiting for you, having proper health care is one less issue that you and your family will have to worry about.

Full service insurance offers personal and corporate solutions. When looking for the best protection and information on Travel Insurance and Health Insurance Canada options.

Correcting Health Care Reform Lies

There are people who have a vested interest in keeping the American health care system broken. Those people are the health insurance industry execs who are making millions of dollars and the politicians they have bought off. These people have hired PR firms to spread lies about health care reform in order to scare everyday Americans into fighting against their own self interest (which is obviously for health care reform.) These are the people behind the orchestrated anti health care reform noise at the town hall meetings across America. This is nothing “grass roots” about that movement. It is a manipulation of uninformed people (many of these folks don’t even know that Medicare is government run health insurance) into fighting for the interests of the health insurance industry rather than for the American people.

If lies are left unchecked then they often become generally accepted by a large portion of the population. This is why it’s so important to reject each of these anti-health reform lies strongly. It’s important to let people know that when they repeat these lies they are simply parroting the fear mongering tactics of the health insurance industry which has no interest in health care, only in continuing to rake in huge profits (their profits actually went up by over 7 times from 2000 to 2007.)

“Rationing” is one of the biggest lies being spread about health care reform. These folks say that somehow having a government run health insurance option (“the public option”) will create some kind of “rationing” that doesn’t take place with our current system. The truth is that health care reform is designed to decrease the rationing that the health insurance industry currently takes part in! You see they make more money by denying your care.

The euthanasia lie is probably the most distasteful one being spread. What could be worse than telling people that the government is going to kill your grandma? This is the same kind of lie that right wingers told about Medicare when it was first introduced in the 1960s. They were full of it then, and they are full of it today. There is absolutely nothing to do with euthanasia or Sarah Palin’s fantasy “death panels” included in health reform. This is an entirely baseless lie. And a despicable one at that. Shouldn’t these people be called out for spreading such a disgusting lie? If they are willing to tell lies like this, why should anyone believe anything they say?

Another big lie is that health care reform will be expensive. What would really be expensive is not doing health care reform. Our current system is headed towards bankruptcy rather quickly. Health insurance premiums are going through the roof. A big part of what this reform is aimed at doing is controlling costs. In fact the economic reasons to implement a “public option” (or even better true “single payer” universal health care) are just as strong as the health reasons.

The final point I want to leave you with is to remember that the “public option” is just that. An option. It will not force people into a government run health insurance plan. If you want to stick with your private health insurance plan, that’s up to you. What the “public option” is designed to do is to create competition for the private health insurance industry so that they cannot continue to gouge their customers with skyrocketing premiums. And it’s designed to give an “option” for those who don’t trust the health insurance companies not to take away their health care.

Why wouldn’t you trust the insurance companies? Why would you? Did you know that there’s currently about a 50% chance that your private health insurance will be taken away from you, using any reason they can come up with, if you get really sick or injured and need significant coverage? They call that “cutting costs.” I call that criminal. What’s the point of having health insurance coverage if it can be taken away from you when you need it most?

George Kane thinks it’s important to note that Doctors Support Health Care Reform. It’s also good to remind people that health care reform is also essential for the US Economy’s Health. Kane supports Single Payer.

Related Health Care Articles

Are We Talking About “Health Care” Reform, or “Sickness Care” Reform?

All the talk about “Health Care Reform” has certainly ignited a fire in countless Americans! Every national news and talk radio show is focused on this hot button topic recently.

The economic crisis is clearly the catalyst for the proposed sweeping changes in national “health” care. Scarce funds and resources, as well as a pending economic “collapse” (as some describe) are forcing us to consider how to manage health care in tough times… and in extreme circumstances.

We’re hearing terms like “rationed health care”, “socialized medicine”, “universal insurance” and the “value of human life”. It’s no wonder this subject has sparked such heated dialogue.

Spending the first 23 years of my life in “socialist” Canada, and still spending much time and energy in their medical system with both of my parents, I may have a different perspective from the sensationalized one being portrayed in media.

I’m perfectly willing to admit that I don’t understand all the politics and red tape involved. I simply have a memory of how things really played out in that system and countless experiences to call upon.

Growing up, I quite clearly recall paying out of pocket for many doctor’s and specialist’s visits, treatments and procedures, and paying a partial “co-pay” for the remaining forms of care: physical therapy, surgery, prescriptions, etc. Not exactly the picture I continue to see painted on the news.

Studying and working within the field of health and wellness for the past 18 years, I know I have a different perspective. First, I wish we’d quit calling this “health care”. The subject of this conversation is “sickness care”. I know I can’t change that, but it annoys me! Words are important.

I have no challenge with paying for – investing in – my own health. I will gladly invest in lifestyle choices that proactively build better health. Choices like: healthier foods, high quality nutritional supplements, pure water, exercise classes, equipment and tools, Chiropractic care, massage, less toxic personal care, household and lawn care products, and so on. I don’t expect a hand out for any of these things… although it would sure be nice! It’s just not realistic. My health and my family’s health is my responsibility.

If we continue to talk about sickness care as though it will somehow provide us with health, we’ll continue on our devastating trend of unparalleled rates of chronic illness in all age groups. We’re confused.

What drug, surgery, insurance plan or federal program could ever fix a problem due to a lack of fresh, healthy, whole, untainted (genetically required) real foods? Or a problem due to sedentary living and lack of regular (genetically required) movement? Or a problem due to a lack of healthy emotions like love and joy? Or a problem due to toxic thoughts and emotions like fear, worry, hate and hopelessness?

Thinking that national “health care” is responsible for our health is irresponsible on our part. It’s also foolish. Their paradigm is still the sickness paradigm. Why on earth would we expect them to deliver us health?

Do I think that we should have a system to help those in need achieve better health and receive sickness care when needed? Yes. But I sure would love to see the main focus of such a program be on “health”! I’m certain we’d spend FAR less on sickness care (and “health care” as a whole) if that were the case.

I’d also love to see the pharmaceutical industry focus on health rather than profits, and drugs only be used for life-saving endeavors… but I digress!

I’m blessed to live in a country with excellent sickness care options. In the case of emergency or trauma or life-saving procedures we have the best. In the case of “health care”… not so much! Sadly though, it’s all there. Everything we need in order to create ideal health is right here at our fingertips. As a culture, we just keep overlooking it and choosing sickness care, expecting health as the outcome.

Our paradigm is inaccurate.

As individuals, imagine if we all began to proactively take steps to create better health. We would no longer play the role of passive by-stander or helpless victim in this game. That’s where I think our focus needs to shift – why wait around to see what’s decided FOR us? Regardless of whatever decisions are made by this current administration, we can certainly become healthier one by one, family by family. Isn’t this the perfect, most necessary time to take responsibility for our own health and safety?

Science has clearly shown us that it’s our lifestyle choices – how we eat, how we move, how we sleep, how we respond to stress – that directly determine our level of health, function, performance and our ability to prevent and reverse chronic illness. Getting healthier means making more pure and sufficient choices while simultaneously reducing toxic and deficient choices. No one can do this for us but US.

When we shift to this responsible, proactive and accurate belief about health care, THEN we will have a truly beneficial health care reform and a profound strengthening of our economy!

Dr. Colleen Trombley (“Dr Mom Online”) is a leading expert in Natural Health & Wellness. Discover why the healthiest, busiest women turn to Dr. Mom for practical tips regarding healthy lifestyle, nutrition, fitness & exercise, diet & weight loss, raising healthy kids, effective stress management, and more. Request your FREE special report revealing Dr. Mom’s personal formula for success, “The Wellness Formula” at
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Health Care Reform Vs. Health Insurance Reform

Health care reform has been a hot item starting prior to the most recent Presidential Election. The Obama Administration, has now moved health care reform to the forefront of their agenda. Regardless of your political affiliation, the obvious facts are that health care costs have continually increased over the last decade. How should the problem(s) be resolved?

The average person who favors government intervention with health care reform believes that the reform needed is with health insurance. Be careful not to confuse health care reform with health insurance reform. The two issues should be completely different, but it seems the Obama Administration has focused their energies in solving the health care issue by focusing on health insurance.

While there have been few specific plans for the administration’s reform, many experts believe that the reform will involve a major involvement from the government. While there are factions in this nation that favor a “Nationalized Health-care System”, there is equal opposition. Unfortunately, the public divide seems to rest within the “class system”. A majority of those families and businesses in the upper-middle to upper class oppose a nationalized system, while the lower-middle to lower class favor a Nationalized Plan.

I say to those that favor a Nationalized Plan, be wary of what you wish for! The problem with the divide actually resides with education and communication. Too often, those in the lower portion of the class system have been conditioned to believe the Insurance Companies are the big, bad profit mongers that cause your premiums to increase. Let’s be frank, insurance companies are in business to make money. However, if you take a look the profit margins within most health insurance carriers, you will see that most are lucky to achieve a 10% profit.

If the problem with our health care system is not with the health insurance carriers, then where should the blame go? Unfortunately, there is no one cause for the skyrocketing cost of health care. Rather, there are multitude of issues that have caused our health care system to become the inefficient beast you see today. There is no one “magic” pill that will fix our system.

If you take a step back and analyze our system as whole, you have to concur that we have the best health care services in the world. If this were not the case, then why would the world’s wealthiest people fly around the world just to have their medical needs taken care in the United States? The fact is, wealthy people who live in countries with nationalized health care systems do not trust those health care providers with routine procedures, much less the more complex ones.

So if we can agree that the health care professionals and facilities are the best in the world, then you should further assume that those individuals providing that care are deserving of whatever money they make. For my part, I want the guy who is about to open my chest up to perform heart surgery to be paid like a surgeon, and not a garbage man. So how do we fix our system?

The first thing is to focus on the real problem. The real problem is with the inefficiencies present in the system, not with the insurance industry. There are cost savings available through the efficiencies that can be made through the use of technology. By gaining the cost savings within the system itself, health care providers (not the actual professionals) do not have to charge as much money. That means the health insurance carriers do not have to pay as much to the providers. Guess what! That means the health insurance carriers do not have to charge as much in premium. Finally, Joe & Jackie Blow do not have to pay as much for health insurance!

President Obama, focus on the real problem of fixing our system, and health insurance premiums will become more affordable.

Jack Wingate is a Professional Insurance Advisor and Founder of ALLCHOICE Insurance in Greensboro, NC. For more information about Jack Wingate, ALLCHOICE Insurance, or North Carolina Health Insurance please visit http://www.allchoiceinsurance.com

Getting Health Insurance in Texas With a Pre-existing Condition

It can be difficult to get health insurance in Texas if you have a pre-existing condition. In fact, there are some health insurance companies that will not take you if you put that on your insurance application. Or, if you are accepted for health insurance, you will have to pay more because the health insurance company is taking a risk on providing you with health coverage.

There is something you can do to get health insurance in Texas. There is a group called the Texas Health Insurance Risk Pool, otherwise known as the Texas Health Pool, which can provide health insurance in Texas. This Health Pool is mainly for those who are having a difficult time securing health insurance. This pool also insures those that have a pre-existing condition.

You should note that with this health insurance alternative, you can be charged up to two times the normal rate of individual health insurance. One, because there are not a lot of resources like this in the state. Second, because the pool knows that there are not a lot of resources that would easily provide insurance coverage to the uninsurable; they have found a niche here. So, they know that since this group of people doesn’t have much of a choice for getting health insurance in Texas elsewhere, that they will have to join the pool.

The Texas Health pool insurance coverage is used for inpatient hospital admissions, doctor visits and prescription drugs. In addition to that, this health insurance in Texas will pay for mental illness situations (serious ones); However, one exclusion of this state coverage is the pool will not provide coverage for chemical dependency issues.

In order to get health insurance coverage in Texas for this, you must be defined as eligible according to the guidelines of the federal government. You must also have been denied health insurance coverage or related insurance coverage because of your health
(pre-existing condition).

You can be eligible by being a dependent of someone that already has health insurance in Texas through the Texas health pool. You can also be eligible if you have a medical issue that will guarantee your eligibility of health insurance coverage into the health pool. A health insurance agent would have to certify that you are not able to get health care coverage through one of the traditional health insurance companies because of your medical issues.

It’s important that even though your pre-existing condition may prevent you from getting health insurance in Texas, that there is a way around that. Everyone needs health insurance, if for nothing else than going to the doctor. Not begin able to go to the doctor because of no insurance can be frustrating, to say the least. It’s important that the state of Texas has this program designed so that those with pre-existing conditions can be able to get quality care just like those that have the traditional health insurance. The health pool was probably one of the best things that could have happened for the state of Texas as far as health insurance is concerned.

This article about Texas Health Insurance is brought to you by Texas Health and Jordan FeRoss. You need to check out their website: Health Insurance in Texas for really neat health care advice!

Personal Health Records–Who Are the Key PHR Providers and How Are They Handling Laboratory Results?

Several significant events have driven public and industry interest in personal health records. In 2004, President George W. Bush outlined a plan for the implementation of an electronic health record that could be accessed by all Americans. Although numerous companies had been in this market for several years, the announcement provided impetus for growth in this area. In 2007 and early 2008, computer giants Google and Microsoft announced their intentions to enter into this market, Google with Google Health and Microsoft with Microsoft HealthVault.

In March of 2008, laboratory industry leader Quest Diagnostics announced a partnership with Google Health to provide uploading of laboratory testing to Google’s version of a personal health record (PHR).

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services cites six positive outcomes with the implementation of widespread personal and/or electronic health records.

1. Improved healthcare quality
2. Prevention of medical errors
3. Reduction of healthcare costs
4. Increased administrative efficiencies
5. Decreased paperwork
6. Expanded access to affordable healthcare

Although there are a number of potential barriers to widespread implementation of personal health records, three are the most significant. They are:

1. Interoperability. The various systems need to be able to interact with each other and various computer systems.

2. Privacy and Security. The systems need to provide HIPAA-like compliance, but also have security measures similar to the banking industry and in compliance with a variety of industry standards.

3. Data Modification. In order for physicians to be able to act on medical information, they will need to be confident of the veracity of the medical data. This will at least partly require that they be able to determine the sources and modifications that have occurred to the information in personal health records.

Although there are a number of companies currently in the marketplace offering personal health records, they fall into four broad categories.

1. Standalones. These companies are primarily personal health record companies, such as LifeOnKey or FollowMe. In some cases these companies also specialize or have specialty subcategories, such as MiVia, which was designed for the migrant farmworker population, or LifeOnKey’s Diabetes focus or Women’s Health focus.

2. Spin-Offs of Information Technology or Software Companies. Most notable in this category are Google Health and Microsoft HealthVault.

3. Healthcare Providers. Examples of this are Partners HealthCare’s Patient Gateway and the Group Health Cooperative’s MyGroupHealth.

4. Platform Providers. In some cases, the companies are focused less on being the patient/consumer’s personal health record, than in providing the platform and/or technology for personal health records. MedCommons is an example of this. Microsoft HealthVault may also fall into this category. FollowMe also is willing to customize their product for other companies, which then provide their own branding.

There are five ways personal health record providers are generating revenue.

1. Subscriptions. Typically, standalone PHR providers charge nominal annual subscription rates ranging from about $ 25 to $ 50.

2. Advertising. Google Health and Microsoft HealthVault indicate they will generate income via advertising. It’s not yet clear how Microsoft intends to do this, but Google Health has indicated that their product itself will not contain advertising, but will have search boxes that connect to the traditional Google page, which does have targeted advertising.

3. Data mining. Although often mentioned as a possible source of revenue, few companies indicate they are currently selling non-user-identified health data to researchers or pharmaceutical companies.

4. Increased Service. Healthcare providers, in general, acknowledge that their personal health record systems are just part of the service and a happy client will remain with the system. Google Health indicates they aren’t in the healthcare business and part of their mission is to drive users to Google.

5. Subcontracting and licensing. MedCommons is focusing on providing their services and platform technology for other users and companies that might want to deliver personal health records. It’s not clear if Microsoft HealthVault plans to enter the market in this fashion, but many industry sources suggest it’s likely.

Ultimately, what is clear from looking at a cross-section of PHR providers is that there are a number of approaches to dealing with laboratory results depending on the nature of the PHR. Google Health has recently announced a partnership with Quest Diagnostics.

This is likely to be the first in a number of similar relationships with other laboratory corporations. The real question, one that remains unaddressed yet, is whether competing labs will create partnerships with Google Health and other PHRs or whether it will become an exclusive and competitive marketplace, where some PHRs will find their services locked out of the market.

Another potential question is whether or not a laboratory, independent or affiliated with a particular healthcare provider, is going to be able to provide data uploads to a myriad of different PHRs. Although largely a technical issue, it’s hard to see how a laboratory needing to provide results to twenty or thirty different PHRs in addition to requesting physicians and patients, is going to make laboratory medicine more efficient or cost-effective.

PHRs Gain Momentum
In his January 20, 2004, State of the Union Address, President George W. Bush outlined a plan for the implementation of an electronic health record that could be accessed by all Americans. The system was to be in place by 2015. According to the White House Web site, patient participation would be voluntarily, and “these electronic health records will be designed to share information privately and securely among and between health care providers when authorized by the patient.”

To achieve that goal, the following steps were taken:

1. Health Information Standards were adopted. Under the direction of the Department of Health and Human Services, in cooperation with other Federal agencies and the private sector, voluntary standards were to be identified and endorsed.

2. Health Care Information Technology Demonstration Project funding was increased to $ 100 million.

3. Federal agencies were encouraged to adopt Health Information Technology.

4. A sub-cabinet level position of National Health Information Technology Coordinator was created. This falls under the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

It’s important to note that the Bush Administration’s proposal did not break new ground. Numerous companies providing personal health records (PHR), medical health records, and electronic health records or some way of storing and delivering medical information electronically were in existence for several years prior to the Bush Administration’s efforts.

The announcement of launches into the health information technology (HIT) arena by Google and Microsoft has renewed media interest in the area, and may signal a renewed velocity and vigor to the market.

Mark Terry is a staff writer for Washington G2 Reports and author of Lab Industry Strategic Outlook: Market Trends & Analysis 2007 and several other Washington G2 Reports publications. Learn more about Washington G2 Reports.

Diet Health and Fitness – For Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is so common and easily induced that 80% of adults have experienced the condition. However, lower back pain can be avoided or eliminated by following the proper diet health and fitness regimen.

If and when you experience pain or soreness in you back for more than one day you should visit your local chiropractor or doctor for x-rays. This is critical as most back pain will not go away on its own and will most likely worsen if ignored.

Most lower back pain is caused by injury, overuse of the back and/or muscle strain. After the initial and chronic pain has healed the best thing you can do for back pain treatment is to begin a fitness program of exercises designed to strengthen the muscles of your lower back.

A simple search in you tube will provide free videos to learn some of the many different types of lower back pain exercises. However, for optimal health and fitness you should try to perform a variety of exercises that will strengthen your entire body, as well as your lower back area.

Back Health And Fitness – Diet And Weight Maintenance

The first thing I would recommend to dull your pain is that you avoid eating any refined sugar (white sugar), as sugar greatly amplifies any pain within your body. Try to eat as healthy a diet, mostly organic fruits and vegetables, as you can. Don’t overlook your diet health when you have pain or an injury. Your diet plays a very important role in the internal healing of injuries.

Staying slim is essential to avoiding and reducing back pain as well as being healthy in general. Any excess weight is extra strain on your back and aerobic exercise is your key to maintaining a healthy weight. Aerobic exercises like biking and walking are low-impact and can be easy on the lower back.

Back Health And Fitness – Strengthening

Strength building is important for keeping your back conditioned. When working out you want to strengthen the areas that support your back like your:
* Abdominals
* Hips
* Legs

Unless you are already experienced in the area of fitness and strength training it would be a good idea to do so under the supervision of some type of trainer, doctor or physical therapist.

Back Health And Fitness – Stretching

Most people, especially males, will overlook stretching as an important part of their health and fitness regimen. Stretching is just as important as the exercises you do so make sure that you spend the proper time stretching every day.

Your flexibility can only change gradually so it is important to stretch every day in order to consistently gain flexibility. Increased flexibility will drastically reduce your chance of injury and will enhance your muscle strength and power.

But, like strength training, stretching should also be done with some type of expert supervision or guidance so you don’t overdo it and hurt yourself. Hopefully some of these recommendations can reduce your pain and help you avoid any future occurences.

Brue M. Baker is an expert on natural health and fitness who has helped people from across the world sky-rocket their health and well-being. Rather than hitting your head against a wall trying to find unbiased health information let Brue take you by the hand and give you the bestnatural health resources on the web. Visit DietHealthAndFitness.com to learn more.

The Essentials in Women’s Health and Fitness

Women have very complex health issues right from their teens including menstrual periods, pregnancy, and menopause. All these stages are part of a normal cycle in a woman’s life, but which can take a serious toll on her health at times. Let us explore together what are the main health hazards a woman faces and how to handle the same naturally.

Everyday Health Issues

The main issue a woman will face all her life is the hormonal imbalances, which inevitably leads to a number of other health related issues and hazards, such as during monthly periods you will experience moods swings, from irritability to extreme sadness and sometimes depression. The same or worse hormonal imbalances occur during pregnancy and menopause as well.

All these instances are perfectly normal in a woman life and you will simply not be able to put them away. Therefore, it is important you learn how to handle women’s health and fitness in order to deal with every single one of these instances.

First things first, you need to educate yourself about your body and why some hormonal imbalances take place, as well as how it effects you and your body. Once you understand why you are having all the unusual symptoms you will be able to find a cure or handle them differently.

The right women’s health and fitness approach is to ensure regular doctor’s visits. Doctor’s visits provide an update on what your health state is, and also information on how to handle different situations.

Helpful Tips

Spend time educating yourself and handling normal situations such as monthly menstrual-related mood swings, which also occur when you will be pregnant or when you have menopause. Therefore, getting yourself into a habit of recognizing this state of mind and finding solutions for it will improve your health and life style greatly.

There is specific women’s health and fitness centers, which can help you handle any given situations should you seek for help, which is indicated if you feel you need assistance. Women’s health and fitness programs will teach you to relax and approach the issue through different sources such as, meditation, exercise and even medication.

Women’s health and fitness rely greatly on activities, eating habits and surroundings. A little help during those hard times in your life will only be a helping hand and a stepping stone to a happier, healthier life. Approach a women’s health and fitness center today, personally or via e-mail and find our how you can make the best of your life every single day.

Eddie Lamb publishes an abundance of information on a range of topical subjects. This article The Essentials in Women’s Health and Fitness, is just one of a host of useful articles about Womens Health listed on our site map at Womens Health Prognosis.

Is Health Insurance Right For You?

Health insurance you are lucky you have health insurance. Similarly-crafted policies need to also address the growing number of workers in contract, freelance, self-employed, and full-time positions, in which benefits are self-provided through individual health insurance plans. Do not assume that any health insurance through your employer will be good enough for you.

What is ‘high risk health insurance’? Health insurance is for ill-health issues. Unfortunately, unless prescribed to treat a hernia or for other medically necessary reasons, tummy tucks generally aren’t covered by health insurance.

Why buy health insurance you do not use. Ask your regular passengers about their own health insurance policies and its coverage. High cost – it is not covered by health insurance schemes as it’s considered a cosmetic.

In most states, insurance companies which offer small group health insurance plans are required to accept any employer group of two to 50 employees provided the employer agrees to insure 100% of the eligible employees. Choosing a health insurance policy that covers you well can be complex.

Taking out international health insurance, be it for business or pleasure, while travelling abroad is a good idea, though not compulsory, most travel operators do insist on some kind of insurance as part of their holiday product.

Ask about the limitations of the health insurance coverage as well as the deductibles, when health insurance premiums inch up, why is passing the cost onto the employees the best solution. Most consumers can attest to the fact that rising health insurance costs, gas prices, education fees, rent and mortgages costs are taking a toll on the best of us.

Obtaining Florida health insurance quotes this way is as easy as it gets. Since health insurance does not cover cosmetic surgery, you need to figure out how to pay for it. How to pick a good health insurance company call their customer service with as many questions as you can think of and see how they handle it.

Essentially, the companies demand the doctor take less than the normal fee, much as health insurance companies do with most medical professionals. Most employers – especially those with fewer employees – have strong reasons to avoid taking on the health insurance burden. Account holders can contribute more funds HSA contributions are no longer limited by the deductible of the health insurance policy.

As a society, we don’t expect this in private-market auto insurance, but we expect it in private-market health insurance. The struggle to offer employees affordable group health insurance coverage is an ongoing process for most employers in today’s health insurance market. The knock on effect means that as almost everything is covered, PMI can work out more expensive than basic health insurance such as cash plans.

Take the example of a growing doctor’s office: As expenses rise with patient-load increases, you accrue more outstanding cash, particularly before receiving reimbursement from the health insurance payers. Now we come to what I believe is one of the biggest problems from a health insurance agent’s point of view, which is the inability for persons with pre-existing health conditions to obtain coverage. I did have my health insurance to pay for most medical expenses, but it did not cover alternative therapies.

We offer a unique and innovative suite of individual health insurance solutions, including highly competitive HSA-qualified plans, and an unparalleled ‘real time’ application and acceptance experience. Studies have shown that a solid majority (over 60%) of Americans receive health insurance benefits via group health insurance coverage through their employer (or their spouse’s employer).

Uchenna Ani-Okoye is an internet marketing advisor and co founder of Free Affiliate Programs

For more information and resource links on health insurance visit: Health Insurance Ratings

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Buyers Guide For Individual Health Insurance

Let’s Begin

You know how important it is to have health coverage when you you have been sick or injured. But if you’re confused about what kind is best for you, you’re not alone.

If your employer offers you a choice of health plans, what should you know before making a decision? What types of health coverage are available? In addition to coverage for medical expenses, do you need some other kind of insurance? What if you are too ill to work? Or, if you are over 65,will Medicare pay for all your medical expenses?

These are questions that today’s consumers are asking; and these questions aren’t necessarily easy to answer.

This booklet should help. It discusses the basic forms of health coverage and includes a checklist to help you compare plans. It answers some commonly asked questions and also includes thumbnail descriptions of other forms of health insurance, including hospital-surgical policies, specified disease policies, catastrophic coverage, hospital indemnity insurance, and disability, long-term care, and Medicare supplement insurance.

While we know that our guide can’t answer all your questions, we think it will help you make the right decisions for yourself, your family, and even your business.

Making Sense of Health Insurance

The term health insurance refers to a wide variety of insurance policies. These range from policies that cover the costs of doctors and hospitals to those that meet a specific need, such as paying for long-term care. Even disability insurance – which replaces lost income if you can’t work because of illness or accident – is considered health insurance, even though it’s not specifically for medical expenses

But when people talk about health insurance, they usually mean the kind of insurance offered by employers to employees, the kind that covers medical bills, surgery, and hospital expenses. You may have heard this kind of health insurance referred to as comprehensive or major medical policies, alluding to the broad protection they offer. But the fact is, neither of these terms is particularly helpful to the consumer.

Today, when people talk about broad health care coverage, instead of using the term “major medical,” they are more likely to refer to fee-for-service or managed care. These terms apply to different kinds of coverage or health plans. Moreover, you’ll also hear about specific kinds of managed care plans: health maintenance organizations or HMOs, preferred provider organizations or PPOs, and point-of-service or POS plans.

While fee-for-service and managed care plans differ in important ways, in some ways they are similar. Both cover an array of medical, surgical, and hospital expenses. Most offer some coverage for prescription drugs, and some include coverage for dentists and other providers. But there are many important differences that will make one or the other form of coverage the right one for you.

The section below is designed to acquaint you with the basics of fee-for-service and managed care plans. But remember: The detailed differences between one plan and another can only be understood by careful reading of the materials provided by insurers, your employee benefits specialist, or your agent or broker.

Fee-for-Service

This type of coverage generally assumes that the medical provider (usually a doctor or hospital) will be paid a fee for each service rendered to the patient – you or a family member covered under your policy. With fee-for-service insurance, you go to the doctor of your choice and you or your doctor or hospital submits a claim to your insurance company for reimbursement. You will only receive reimbursement for “covered” medical expenses, the ones listed in your benefits summary.

When a service is covered under your policy, you can expect to be reimbursed for some, but generally not all, of the cost. How much you will receive depends on the provisions of the policy on coinsurance and deductibles. Here’s how it works:

The portion of the covered medical expenses you pay is called “coinsurance.” Although there are variations, fee-for-service policies often reimburse doctor bills at 80 percent of the “reasonable and customary charge.” (This is the prevailing cost of a medical service in a given geographic area.) You pay the other 20 percent – your coinsurance. However, if a medical provider charges more than the reasonable and customary fee, you will have to pay the difference. For example, if the reasonable and customary fee for a medical service is $ 100, the insurer will pay $ 80. If your doctor charged $ 100, you will pay $ 20. But if the doctor charged $ 105, you will pay $ 25. Note that many fee-for-service plans pay hospital expenses in full; some reimburse at the 80/20 level as described above.

Deductibles are the amount of the covered expenses you must pay each year before the insurer starts to reimburse you. These might range from$ 100 to $ 300 per year per individual, or $ 500 or more per family. Generally, the higher the deductible, the lower the premiums, which are the monthly, quarterly, or annual payments for the insurance. Policies typically have an out-of-pocket maximum. This means that once your expenses reach a certain amount in a given calendar year, the reasonable and customary fee for covered benefits will be paid in full by the insurer. (If your doctor bills you more than the reasonable and customary charge, you may still have to pay a portion of the bill.) Note that Medicare limits how much a physician may charge you above the usual amount. There also may be lifetime limits on benefits paid under the policy. Most experts recommend that you look for a policy whose lifetime limit is at least $ 1 million. Anything less may prove to be inadequate.

Managed-Care

The major types of managed care plans are health maintenance organizations (HMOs), preferred provider organizations (PPOs), and point-of-service (POS) plans.

Managed care plans generally provide comprehensive health services to their members, and offer financial incentives for patients to use the providers who belong to the plan. In managed care plans, instead of paying separately for each service that you receive, your coverage is paid in advance. This is called prepaid care.

For example, you may decide to join a local HMO where you pay a monthly or quarterly premium. That premium is the same whether you use the plan’s services or not. The plan may charge a copayment for certain services – for example, $ 10 for an office visit, or $ 5 for every prescription. So, if you join this HMO, you may find that you have few out-of-pocket expenses for medical care – as long as you use doctors or hospitals that participate in or are part of the HMO. Your share may be only the small copayments; generally, you will not have deductibles or coinsurance.

The interesting things about HMOs is that they deliver care directly to patients. Patients sometimes go to a medical facility to see the nurses and doctors or to a specific doctor’s office. Another common model is a network of individual practitioners. In these individual practice associations (IPAs), you will get your care in a physician’s office.

If you belong to an HMO, typically you must receive your medical care through the plan. Generally, you will select a primary care physician who coordinates your care. Primary care physicians may be family practice doctors, internists, pediatricians, or other types of doctors. The primary care physician is responsible for referring you to specialists when needed. While most of these specialists will be “participating providers” in the HMO, there are circumstances in which patients enrolled in an HMO may be referred to providers outside the HMO network and still receive coverage.

PPOs and POS plans are categorized as managed care plans. (Indeed, many people call POS plans “an HMO with a point-of-service option.”) From the consumer’s point of view, these plans combine features of fee-for-service and HMOs. They offer more flexibility than HMOs, but premiums are likely to be somewhat higher.

With a PPO or a POS plan, unlike most HMOs, you will get some reimbursement if you receive a covered service from a provider who is not in the plan. Of course, choosing a provider outside the plan’s network will cost you more than choosing a provider in the network. These plans will act like fee-for-service plans and charge you coinsurance when you go outside the network.

What is the difference between a PPO and a POS plan? A POS plan has primary care physicians who coordinate patient care; and in most cases, PPO plans do not. But there are exceptions!

HMOs and PPOs have contracts with doctors, hospitals, and other providers. They have negotiated certain fees with these providers – and, as long as you get your care from these providers, they should not ask you for additional payment. (Of course, if your plan requires a copayment at the time you receive care, you will have to pay that.)

Always look carefully at the description of the plans you are considering for the conditions of payment. Check with your employer, your benefits manager, or your state department of insurance to find out about laws that may regulate who is responsible for payment.

Self-insured Plans

Your employer may have set up a financial arrangement that helps cover employees’ health care expenses. Sometimes employers do this and have the “health plan” administered by an insurance company; but sometimes there is no outside administrator. With self-insured health plans, certain federal laws may apply. Thus, if you have problems with a plan that isn’t state regulated, it’s probably a good idea to talk to an attorney who specializes in health law.

Appropriate Care

HMOs, PPOs, and fee-for-service plans often share certain features, including pre authorization, utilization review, and discharge planning.

For example, you may be asked to get authorization from your plan or insurer before admission to a hospital for certain types of surgery. Utilization review is the process by which a plan determines whether a specific medical or surgical service is appropriate and/or medically necessary. Discharge planning is an approach that facilitates the transfer of a patient to amore cost-effective facility if the patient no longer needs to stay in the hospital. For example, if, following surgery, you no longer need hospitalization but cannot be cared for at home, you may be transferred to a skilled nursing facility.

Almost all fee-for-service plans apply managed care techniques to contain costs and guarantee appropriate care; and an increasing number of managed care plans contain fee-for-service elements. While the distinctions among plans are growing increasingly blurred, the number of options available to consumers increases every day.

How Do I Get Health Coverage?

Health insurance is generally available through groups and to individuals. Premiums – the regular fees that you pay for health insurance coverage – are generally lower for group coverage. When you receive group insurance at work, the premium usually is paid through your employer.

Group insurance is typically offered through employers, although unions, professional associations, and other organizations also offer it. As an employee benefit, group health insurance has many advantages. Much – although not all – of the cost may be borne by the employer. Premium costs are frequently lower because economies of scale in large groups make administration less expensive. With group insurance, if you enroll when you first become eligible for coverage, you generally will not be asked for evidence that you are insurable. (Enrollment usually occurs when you first take a job, and/or during a specified period each year, which is called open enrollment.) Some employers offer employees a choice of fee-for-service and managed care plans. In addition, some group plans offer dental insurance as well as medical.

Individual insurance is a good option if you work for a small company that does not offer health insurance or if you are self-employed. Buying individual insurance allows you to tailor a plan to fit your needs from the insurance company of your choice. It requires careful shopping, because coverage and costs vary from company to company. In evaluating policies, consider what medical services are covered, what benefits are paid, and how much you must pay in deductibles and coinsurance. You may keep premiums down by accepting a higher deductible.

Pre-existing Conditions

Many people worry about coverage for preexisting conditions, especially when they change jobs. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) helps assure continued health insurance coverage for employees and their dependents. Starting July 1, 1997, insurers could impose only one 12-month waiting period for any preexisting condition treated or diagnosed in the previous six months. Your prior health insurance coverage will be credited toward the preexisting condition exclusion period as long as you have maintained continuous coverage without a break of more than 62 days. Pregnancy is not considered a preexisting condition, and newborns and adopted children who are covered within 30 days are not subject to the 12-monthwaiting period.

If you have had group health coverage for two years, and you switch jobs and go to another plan, that new health plan cannot impose another preexisting condition exclusion period. If, for example, you have had prior coverage of only eight months, you may be subject to a four-month, preexisting condition exclusion period when you switch jobs. If you’ve never been covered by an employer’s group plan, and you get a job that offers such coverage, you may be subject to a 12-month, preexisting condition waiting period.

Federal law also makes it easier for you to get individual insurance under certain situations, including if you have left a job where you had group health insurance, or had another plan for more than 18 months without a break of more than 62 days.

If you have not been covered under a group plan and have found it difficult to get insurance on your own, check with your state insurance department to see if your state has a risk pool. Similar to risk pools for automobile insurance, these can provide health insurance for people who cannot get it elsewhere.

What Is Not Covered?

While HMO benefits are generally more comprehensive than those of traditional fee-for-service plans, no health plan will cover every medical expense.

Very few plans cover eyeglasses and hearing aids because these are considered budgetable expenses. Very few cover elective cosmetic surgery, except to correct damage caused by a covered accidental injury. Some fee-for-service plans do not cover checkups. Procedures that are considered experimental may not be covered either. And some plans cover complications arising from pregnancy, but do not cover normal pregnancy or childbirth.

Health insurance policies frequently exclude coverage for preexisting conditions, but, as explained, federal law now limits exclusions based on such conditions.

You should also remember that insurers will not pay duplicate benefits. You and your spouse may each be covered under a health insurance plan at work but, under what is called a “coordination of benefits” provision, the total you can receive under both plans for a covered medical expense cannot exceed 100 percent of the allowable cost. Also note that if neither of your plans covers 100 percent of your expenses, you will only be covered for the percentage of coverage (for example, 80 percent) that your primary plan covers. This provision benefits everyone in the long run because it helps to keep costs down.

A Final Word

If you get health care coverage at work, or through a trade or professional association or a union, you are almost certainly enrolled under a group contract. Generally, the contract is between the group and the insurer, and your employer has done comparison shopping before offering the plan to the employees. Nevertheless, while some employers only offer one plan, some offer more than one. Compare plans carefully!

If you are buying individual insurance, or any form of insurance that you purchase directly, read and compare the policies you are considering before you buy one, and make sure you understand all of the provisions. Marketing or sales literature is no substitute for the actual policy. Read the policy itself before you buy.

Ask for a summary of each policy’s benefits or an outline of coverage. Good agents and good insurance companies want you to know what you are buying. Don’t be afraid to ask your benefits manager or insurance agent to explain anything that is unclear.

It is also a good idea to ask for the insurance company’s rating. The A.M. Best Company, Standard & Poor’s Corporation, and Moody’s all rate insurance companies after analyzing their financial records. These publications that list ratings usually can be found in the business section of libraries.

And bear in mind: In some cases, even after you buy a policy, if you find that it doesn’t meet your needs, you may have 30 days to return the policy and get your money back. This is called the “free look.”

Before you buy health insurance, make sure you check John Millets’ excellent Individual Buyers Guide For Individual Health Insurance.

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