Friday, November 22, 2013

Choosing The Right Health Coverage

By Maryl Joop

The Affordable Care Act is designed to shift the industry to consumer driven health plans. Currently, health plans are based upon small pools, based on individual users, small business groups, or large businesses, as well as government-run groups. Some of these groups include military veterans, Medicare, Medicaid, and many others.

Think about it It's somewhat ironic to assume that older people are the ones who benefit the most from life insurance policies. Obviously, very old people might deal with the details of life insurance more since the likelihood of them passing away is higher than normal. But let's not forget that older individuals have generally been saving for retirement and are more established financially. So while a life insurance policy would definitely help in the event of an elderly person's sudden demise, their spouse or dependents would have probably been alright without it.

The design of the Affordable Care Act is to provide affordable health insurance for all individuals in the United States of America. This is done by providing consumer driven health plans through online exchanges for those who do not have access to any credible health insurance.

Health Insurance benefits are considered credible by the federal government when the coverage covers all of the procedures above and more, as well as having a maximum out-of-pocket amount spent each year as determined by the federal government each year. Those offered insurance through their employers, as long as it is affordable, are not able to use the exchanges. Those that use the exchanges are also allowed to access federal subsidies in the form of tax credits.

These tax credits can amount to over $10,000 per family or individual, dependent on the situation of that person, the state they reside in, and other factors. This incentive was added to the Affordable Care Act to appeal to the middle class by making creating more affordable health insurance. One of the primary aims of the Affordable Care Act is to decrease costs that have, until recently, been spiraling out of control. Healthcare costs have increased annually since the creation of Medicaid and Medicare by over 8-16 percent, compared to the average annual inflation rate of 1-3 percent.

Consequently, health care has taken more and more of the budget of Americans in the past 40 years. With the baby-boomers increasingly retiring at ever increasing levels, and with the fact that elderly individuals utilized and require healthcare benefits at a much higher rate than those who are younger and potentially healthier, experts are concerned that the healthcare system will not only be unable to handle the new demands of the baby boomers, but also that costs will explode as demand will far outstrip supply.

To put the onus of responsibility on the hospitals, payments like the Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments, Medicaid, Medicare and other payments from the federal government will be moved from a per service payment to a new form of payment. This form of payment is called capitated, as it estimates how many people the healthcare provider is expected to see, and pays the provider a flat rate fee for each of those individuals at the beginning of the year.

The morale of this story that you should learn about life insurance now, because there's never a time when being signed up with the right policy won't benefit you. So take some responsibility and start to get educated about how to receive things like affordable life and health insurance. And then you can enjoy complete peace of mind the next time your friends invite you to go rock climbing in Southern Utah. Because with proper life insurance, your family will be taken care of no matter what happens.

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