Archive for September, 2010

UPMC Health Insurance For Retirees Abroad

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

earthFor those looking to retire abroad, it may be difficult to find health insurance but it surely isn’t impossible.  “How to Find Retiree Health Insurance Abroad” by Kathleen Peddicord of U.S. News & World Report discusses this issue.  It’s possible that you will even find health insurance for better prices overseas than you could in the U.S. from reputable companies like UPMC health insurance.  Just as it is in the U.S., it is crucial that you understand your policy, all the details of your coverage, your deductibles and your premiums.  Especially if you are moving to a country speaking a language other than English, you need to make sure you know all the fine print.

Even within a country, all of the plan details and costs can vary significantly when you start to compare health insurance.  Some insurance carriers only accept applicants up until a certain age so that is important to research before deciding to move away for retirement.  You can get a comprehensive insurance policy in the Dominican Republic for under $90 a month as a 60-year old man.  In Uruguay, you can get top notch hospital-based coverage for $50 per month, but it can only be used at that hospital and is not technically health insurance since you can’t use it elsewhere.

Prepaid medical center programs are your best bet in countries like Ecuador.  Humana is one of the leading insurers in Ecuador offering this program, where a 75-year old man can get basic coverage for less than $90 per month.  In Ireland, there are insurance plans that even cover you out of the country for as low as $60 per month.  Malaysia has long been known as one of the  most affordable places to get health care that is excellent.  Many of their medical staff speak English and trained in Western countries.  You can find plans under $20 a month for a 50-year old man.  Regardless of the location you desire to retire, don’t forget to research your health insurance options before moving out of the U.S.

9/23/10: Compare Health Insurance Reform for Students

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

collegeAs of today, college students and their parents have a lot to look forward to regarding the health insurance changes going into effect.  Health Insurance Sort published a news article regarding the changes entitled “What health care reform means for students.” Students will compare health insurance costs since they can now stay on their parents’ insurance plans until the age of 26.  Many students have gone without health insurance after being kicked off of their parents’ plans at age 23.  This new health care reform is part of President Obama’s Health Care Reform Bill of 2010.

Health Insurance Sort’s article clears up misconceptions with the law and explains to college students and their parents how they will be affected now that this provision has taken effect.  Some insurance companies opted to follow the new law as soon as it was passed rather than waiting until today’s deadline.  As of today, everyone from Fallon Health Insurance to Mercy Health Plans will be covering college students longer.  You will learn about how students’ privacy will be protected, what happens when a student goes to college out of the service area, if employer-sponsored plans will see an increase in premium cost, who may not be eligible, and when purchasing a basic plan from the college may be more beneficial from this article.

Aultcare Says No Working While Sick

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

sickEven doctors are guilty of going into work when they are sick, according to the Associated Press’ article “Working while sick? Study finds even doctors do it.”  Lindsey Tanner’s article highlights a survey that will be published in the American Medical Association’s Journal on Wednesday of 537 medical residents at 12 hospitals in the United States.  Insurance companies like Aultcare aren’t big fans of people going into work sick because of the likelihood that they will infect others with their illness.  Of those responding to the study, 58% said they had gone into work sick once before and 31% had gone in sick more than once is the past year.

The pressure on medical residents is high and the programs are competitive, so calling off sick is often frowned upon.  As residents work 80 hour weeks and 24 hours straight in the hospital, their chances of getting sick can be greatly increased.  They usually are not seeing doctors when they are sick, which can worry insurers like Assurant Health.  Presumed self-diagnosis means that illnesses can be wrongly diagnosed and more easily spread to patients and other hospital workers.  A push for flu vaccinations by many organizations will hopefully help avoid an outbreak and spread this flu season.  Even though you may feel obstacles to calling off sick from work, reducing exposure to others is in the best interest of the greater good.

Fallon Health Plans Etc: Medicare Changes for Seniors

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Even if seniors weren’t planning to change their Medicare drug plans this fall, they may be forced to because the number of available plans is decreasing.  This could effect three million seniors, according to the Associated Press article “More than 3M seniors may have to switch drug plans.”  Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar’s article says that the government’s goal by reducing the number of plan offerings is to simplify and streamline Medicare.  Seniors with drug plans through Medicare and a private insurer like Fallon Health Plans might have to pick a new drug plan if theirs is discontinued.  It is possible that their insurance company will automatically reassign them to a new plan though, saving the headache of switching and possibly saving them money.

While most states currently offer around forty different choices for Medicare drug plans, this change will lower that number to around thirty per state.  The government hopes that this will decrease the confusion felt by some Medicare recipients.  It is possible that when seniors compare health insurance changes they could see differences in their premiums or copayments.  The changes could be better or worse.  While some current Medicare recipients may have a small disruption, these changes should make it much easier for new recipients to join Medicare in the future.  Many Republicans are arguing that this is just what President Obama said he wouldn’t do, reduce the number of choices that citizens have regarding their health insurance.  But consumer advocates say that these changes have been needed for years and will only benefit the population by reducing confusion.

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Rate Hikes

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield had rate increases approved by the California Department of Insurance.  Rate increases average 14% for Anthem Blue Cross and 19% for Blue Shield of California, although Anthem was hoping to get approval for rate increases up to 39%.  The public was outraged over those potential rate hikes so the government stepped in to regulate a lower increase.  Anthem is the largest health insurer in California for-profit, but their proposal for the rate increases was found to have accounting errors so it was withdrawn.

President Obama used Anthem’s proposed rate increases as an example of what is flawed in our health care system.  Consumers should save around $184 million with the lowered rate increases, according to the Department of Insurance.  When you compare health insurance increases by insurers like the nonprofit Blue Shield of California, the insurer says that they have no choice because they are paying that much money out to hospitals, doctors and others for claims.  Both insurers were found to follow the State’s rule that 70% of their income be used to cover actual medical treatment.  Anthem is required to give at least 30 days notice before increasing their customers’ policy costs.

Free Health Screenings from Aultcare Health Insurance

Monday, September 6th, 2010

Seniors near Canton, Ohio have a lot to look forward to on September 29.  Not only can they get into Canton’s Pro Football Hall of Fame free that day from 7am-5pm, they can also get free health screenings.  The screenings are being offered by the Aultman Health Foundation, according to the company’s news release “Aultman Offers Free Health Screenings for Senior Day at Pro Football Hall of Fame.”  Aultcare health insurance is the insurer run by Aultman hospital and will be working with seniors 55 and over at the end of this month to provide the free screenings.

From 7am to 2pm there will be booths with information on senior care and general health screenings for cholesterol, blood sugar, triglycerides, blood pressure, diabetes risk, breast cancer risk, body fat analysis, cardiac risk, and even more.  Seniors do not need to make an appointment, but are requested to fast for at least 12 hours before the testing to provide optimal results.  There will also be a health fair set up by different Aultman departments with tips and education on everything from grieving to fitness to sleep apnea.

There will be a series of speakers in the Hall of Fame’s Plaza Tent that talk about certain needs related to joint health, home safety, diabetes, and heart health.  There will be radio personalities and special events at the Hall of Fame as well.  Each senior will get extra Hall of Fame discounts, a 2010 yearbook, a souvenir from Aultman, and complimentary drinks and snacks.