Archive for the ‘Golden Rule Insurance’ Category

Illinois to Compare Health Insurance Rate Hikes

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

Regulators in the state of Illinois have asked for a $1 million federal grant and permission from lawmakers to help police health insurance companies.  They hope to receive permission to make the final decision on any rate increases requested by insurers.  With so many Illinois residents fighting to pay the bills when they compare health insurance costs, regulators believe that this step will help control the skyrocketing premiums charged by many companies.

In the past two years, Illinois has received 186 complaints about health insurance increases, some of which have been up to a 100% increase.  The insurance department hopes that receiving the federal grant will help the lawmakers agree to allow their oversight of insurers like Golden Rule Insurance.  Because of medical inflation and the recession, individual health insurance rates have just skyrocketed.  Insurers defend their rate increases and say that they really should be raising rates even higher.

At least 25 other states have the power to approve or deny rate increases by health insurers.  All health insurers in Illinois, such as Assurant Health, work for profit.  The state currently does not require them to give consumers notice of rate increases or restrict the premiums charged to individuals or large businesses.  Small businesses do have limited protection.  In their request for the government grant, Illinois regulators said that their current system just isn’t effective and they need the government’s money to improve their rate review system.

Golden Rule Insurance Dental Care

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Your health insurance and dental insurance companies can only hope that you follow guidelines to take preventative care of yourself.  Health Key has listed some important tips on basic dental care.  Regularly brushing and flossing your teeth are important, as is seeing the dentist twice a year to get your regular cleanings and look for any issues.  It is also helpful to eat a diet rich in whole grains, dairy, and fruits and vegetables.  Taking care of your health allows insurance companies like Golden Rule Insurance to spend less on problem care and charge less for policies.  Taking care of your teeth helps to avoid tooth decay, prevents gum disease, saves money, avoids bad breath, helps your teeth last a lifetime, and improves your overall health.

Following basic dental care is the best way to avoid problems.  Brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day to keep plaque away.  By using a toothpaste with flouride, you help prevent cavities and tooth decay.  Avoiding sugar as much as possible is important for your teeth.  Do not smoke or use other tobacco products which can cause gum disease and cancer.  Clean your tongue with a special scraper or soft toothbrush.  Find out how often your dentist would like to see you and check with UPMC, or your insurer, to see how often visits are covered by insurance.  Most experts believe that children should start seeing the dentist at one year of age and go every six months after that.  Check with your dentist for their particular guidelines for taking care of your teeth, mouth, and overall health.

Travel Health Insurance Essential: Golden Rule Insurance

Monday, May 10th, 2010

airplaneThere probably aren’t that many travelers who worry about medical evacuation insurance.  You should, according to “Experts Say Travel Health Insurance Can Be Crucial,” by Lindsay Tanner of the Associated Press.  Most health insurance policies do not include transportation home for critically ill patients requiring medical equipment and staff.  And while most people think that they will never need those services, accidents happen.  Car crashes and heart attacks are the main injuries sustained on vacation and those can happen to just about anyone.  If you have Golden Rule Insurance or medical coverage from another insurer, you should inquire about their coverage in advance.  If it is not under your plan, you can usually purchase supplemental insurance just for traveling.

It is also possible to get a stand-alone policy from an insurer like Assurant Health that will only cover you when you are traveling.  With the busy summer travel season fast approaching, no one wants to come home with hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills or worse yet, not come home at all.  The cost for most supplemental plans is around 4 to 8 percent of the cost of your trip.  A vacation costing $2000 would make for about $120 in supplemental travel insurance.  Those who have needed the services say that it is well worth the cost.  The State Department has information on where you can obtain travel insurance and what type you may want to get, including medical evacuation insurance.

Compare Health Insurance for Women After Health Care Reform

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

According to “Health Law Cuts the Cost of Being a Woman” by Denise Grady of the New York Times, health insurance companies can no longer treat women as a liability.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other women in government are advocating for women’s health by ensuring that being a woman is not considered a pre-existing condition.  The new health care bill forbids all health insurance companies, like UPMC, from sex discrimination.  In the past, companies took advantage of women with unfair health care and health insurance policies towards them.

Companies who sell individual insurance policies, usually bought by people who have lost jobs or other group coverage plans, had been charging women more than men for the same health insurance coverage.  Many plans did not even include maternity care.  Insurance companies argued that women use doctors more than men.  The National Women’s Law Center found that men who smoked were actually being charged less than women who did not.  Even group plans when you compare health insurance were affected.  Although sex discrimination laws didn’t allow the excess costs to be passed down to female employees, smaller business and those heavy in female employees have been forced to make sacrifices including discontinuing coverage in some cases.

Gender rating is now outlawed and maternity coverage has to be included as an “essential health benefit” like heart attacks and cancer.  Women should no longer have to be concerned about getting fair treatment in the health care industry from companies like Golden Rule Insurance.  There are people who worry that insurance companies will be able to find ways around the new laws to protect themselves from financial costs, but the Law Center’s co-president doesn’t currently see any loopholes and is confident that the health care bill will better protect women.

Too Many Angiograms for Mercy Health Plans & Golden Rule Insurance Patients?

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

heartIn Malcolm Ritter’s Associated Press article “Study suggests too many invasive heart tests given,”  the frequency of angiograms is taken into question.  It is just one of the recent studies suggesting that Americans are getting too many unnecessary health tests.  It is a battle between doctors and insurance companies like Golden Rule Insurance and Mercy Health Plans.  Doctors are concerned about missing something and even about getting sued in some cases.  For this reason, they are much quicker to order expensive tests for their patients, at a high cost to insurance companies and government programs like Medicare.

An angiogram is performed on patients who may be having a heart attack or who have shown symptoms suggesting serious blockage around the heart.  They are also being frequently performed on patients whose symptoms are not as clear cut and those who have high risk traits for heart problems.  To perform the test, a small tube is put in either the arm or the groin and threaded through the body to the heart.  It checks for blocked arteries that could cause a heart attack by injecting dye through the tube and performing an x-ray.  Almost two-thirds of the patients that didn’t have clear cut symptoms don’t have serious blockage found.  Researchers believe that doctors need to do a better job  determining the patients that really need these expensive tests that have risks associated with them.  In order for insurance companies to function well, unnecessary and costly tests should be avoided when possible.  The question now is how doctors can best treat their patients while avoiding unnecessary testing.

Better Compare Health Insurance as Individual Rates Skyrocket

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Consumers in at least four states have seen their health insurance premiums skyrocket, according to “Individual insurance rates soar in 4 states” from the Associated Press.  The article applies mostly to consumers that purchased their own individual health insurance, either because they didn’t have any from an employer or they found better rates when they went to compare health insurance at the individual versus the company level.  Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield in California plans to raise its individual policyholders’ rates by up to 39% at the beginning of next month.  In Maine, Anthem Blue Cross plans up to 23% increases this year, after increasing rates 32% last year.

Many insurance companies in Oregon plan to raise rates by up to 15% after a majority of the individual plans increased by 25% last year.  Unfortunately premiums are much more volatile for consumers who hold individual insurance policies because they can’t get the group discounts allowed to employers and other large groups.  It is predicted that individual insurance rates will increase in the short term by up to 30% across the board.  Without any kind of meaningful health care reform happening at the federal level, states will most likely start the legislative process of helping their consumers.  Companies like Golden Rule Insurance work to give you affordable health care in a climate with seemingly outrageous increases.  While insurance companies defend the increases and say they are necessary, the best that individuals can do right now is shop around for the best health insurance for them and contact the government to get involved in legislation.

Golden Rule Insurance Helps After Job Loss

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

unemployedSadly, Americans have been losing their jobs in record numbers over the past year or so.  If you’ve already been laid off or are worried it might be coming, start looking for health insurance outside of your company.  According to “Worried about losing your job? Better start checking out insurance,” by Gail Appleson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, there are health insurance options out there.  If you lose a job with a company employing at least 20 people, COBRA is an option for continuing the health care you received at your company.  While COBRA was introduced by the government in 1985 to help individuals continue their recently lost health coverage at group rates, diving into the individual insurance market may be much cheaper.

Golden Rule Insurance is just one of the companies that offers individual and family insurance policies to consumers.  They have been in business since 1940 and recently became part of United Health One.  If you are healthy, it might be wise to skip the high costs of COBRA and shop around for a less expensive individual health plan.  It is crucial to find a plan to cover your insurance needs rather than going uninsured.  While the individual insurance marketplace can seem overwhelming and costly, one emergency health related situation can put you in a financial nightmare.  Shop around for short-term or temporary plans that require less paperwork and are made for helping you get from one insurance plan to another, like in the case of being laid off.  There is insurance coverage out there for you, just spend the time to research.

Golden Rule Health Insurance Parent Company Acquires Health Net

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

According to “UnitedHealthCare’s Acquisition of Health Net Approved” by Matthew Sturdevant of The Hartford Courant, Health Net is now part of UnitedHealthCare.  Oxford and Golden Rule health insurance are included in the UnitedHealthCare group.  They bid on the rights to renew the memberships of all Health Net customers in Connecticut and their bid was approved this week.  Connecticut now has 5 major health care providers instead of 6, which has drawn some opposition from physician organizations.  They bring up the concern of fewer options for insurance providers leading to an increase in the cost for both treatments and medicine.  But UnitedHealthCare says that they plan to expand both the choices and access to care for Health Net customers and that Connecticut is a competitive market so cost will remain in line with that.

Golden Rule insurance is part of UnitedHealthCare.  They are proud to offer individualized plans customized for each member’s circumstances including coverage like maternity benefits, prescription drug cards, term life plans, and supplemental accident benefits.  With UnitedHealthCare’s acquisition of Health Net, Health Net should have similar programs to Golden Rule health insurance and Oxford insurance.  This will also help them remain the second largest insurance provider in the state.  Customers can compare health insurance from all available providers to find which company suits them the best.  The Connecticut Insurance Department monitors all insurance providers and will closely watch to ensure that Health Net’s customers receive excellent care from their new provider.