4 Things to Consider When Choosing Your Insurance for 2018

Believe it or not, 2018 is fast approaching! And if you’re one of the 6.5 million American’s who gets their insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace, it’s time to select your plan! Open enrollment for Obamacare starts November 1st and ends December 15th. Enrollment is only open for a short time, so it’s important to do your research now! These are four things you must consider when choosing the best plan for you and your family.
Your budget
This should be first and foremost. Before you even sit down to start looking at policies it’s important to set a realistic budget. Obviously insurance is pricey, so make sure you allow a fair portion of your income to be set aside for your monthly premium.
Key insurance terms
You can’t choose the best policy for you without knowing the key terminology. Important insurance terms to know are: deductible, co-insurance, copay and out of pocket maximum. Need to brush up on these terms? Follow this link. This will make picking a policy a lot less of a headache or prevent you from choosing something that isn’t right for you.
What services you use
It’s important to consider what services you use most when choosing an insurance. Keep in mind that preventative services are currently covered under the Affordable Care Act. This includes things such as colonoscopies and diabetes (Type II) screening. But if you see a chiropractor, or another specialized practitioner, be sure the policy you’re looking at covers that type of care.
Is it an HMO or a PPO
A lot of people don’t know the difference between Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO’s) and Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO’s). Typically, an HMO plan is going to be a little more affordable than a PPO plan. But they aren’t created equal. PPO’s allow for more flexibility. Typically you can see any doctor you chose, where as with HMO’s you’re more limited. Also, often times with an HMO you will need to have a Primary Care Physician (PCP) who must refer you for specific services (i.e. a routine colonoscopy). Don’t forget to check the type of plan before finalizing your 2018 coverage.
Mark your calendar for November 1st! And if you still have questions about health insurance, you can pick up my book Easy Healthcare: Obamacare.

Breast Cancer Treatment: What Your Insurance Covers

After a devastating diagnosis such as breast cancer, the last thing one thinks about is insurance. But sadly this is a true reality for most. How to pay for it, what your coverage is and what to do if you don’t have insurance are all things that run through one’s mind. Today, we’re going to discuss what your insurance covers when it comes to breast cancer prevention and treatment.
Mammograms are a major diagnostic test used for the detection of breast cancer. Since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, all insurance policies are required to cover one routine mammograms for women over 40 years of age per, at no out of pocket cost to them. So take advantage of this tool every year.
If your physician suggests a mastectomy as part of your treatment it will likely be covered. Even better yet, due to an act passed in 1998 any insurance company that has mastectomy coverage must also cover breast reconstruction coverage, if you wish to have it done. Not only does this include implants but it can also include surgery to correct asymmetries (i.e. only one breast was removed) as well as treatment for any surgical complications.
Chemotherapy and radiation are two major treatments for any form of cancer, specifically breast cancer. Coverage for these two types of treatment are going to be plan specific. So make sure you look over your insurance to see what type of coverage you have. Often times they come with high deductibles and copay’s, but it’s better than nothing.
Other prescription medications will be billed the same way as chemo and radiation, which is considered a medication. For instance, cancer suppressing medications, such as tamoxifen, fall under this category.
If you don’t have insurance there are several institutions that can provide you with the care you need. You can head over to www.komen.org to learn more.
Or, if you’re interested in enrolling in a health insurance plan for 2018 stay tuned for next weeks post, we walk you through everything you need to know about Obamacare.

How to Care for Your Parent Who Lives in Another State

Having aging parents can be difficult, and in some cases, adding in the fact that they live hundreds of miles away, it can make it that much more difficult. Today, we’re sharing how to care for your aging parent who lives in another state.

Create a medical life list
I talk about this all the time, but it’s so important. A medical life list is something that contains all of your loved ones important health information. This includes allergies, past history, surgeries and medications. It’s easy to forget things when you’re at the doctor. This way they have it all in one spot and they can just have the physician make a copy for their file.

Know their neighbors
If you live out of town and your parents are elderly their neighbors should be your watch dogs. Have them keep an eye out for any changes in your loved ones health or routine. Maybe the noticed they’re getting out less, or they have a little bit of shutter when they speak. Ask them to get in touch with you if they notice any changes in your parent

Hire a caregiver 
Whether you hire someone to come in all day, every day, or for just a few hours, hiring a care giver can help put your mind at ease. They can help with taking medications and showering. They can also help with cooking and making sure your loved one is eating well. But Make sure you meet them in person before hiring them, it’s easy to take advantage of elderly people.

Consider an assisted living
Making the decision to put your parent in an assisted living can be a tough one. Most of them don’t want to lose their independence and don’t want to leave their home. But it may be the best option for their health and well-being. If there isn’t anyone around to care for them they can fall, or can become malnourished. In an assisted living all of their basic necessities will be cared for and you won’t have to worry.

 

If you want more information on picking an assisted living for your loved one pick up my book Easy Healthcare: Choosing an Assisted Living.