Posts Tagged - ‘health savings accounts’

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Don’t Delay Filing Out-Of-Network Health Insurance Claims

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Image: anomalous4 under CC 3.0

Some health insurance plans–especially high-deductible ones such as health savings accounts–allow patients to go outside of their provider networks to utilize the doctors and hospitals of their choice. Normally, this costs more to consumers; however, the increased freedom is nearly priceless to some.

In most cases, your health insurance will cover at least a portion of the cost of out-of-network care. Unfortunately, you are responsible for submitting the claim paperwork yourself. Check your policy for information about deadlines–if you miss the timely filing limit, you may end up having to pay the whole bill out-of-pocket!

While it’s usually possible to file a dispute or appeal with your insurer, doing so can have a negative impact on your credit rating.

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Ron Paul Proposes His Own Healthcare Reform Bill

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Image: Gage Skidmore under CC 3.0

Representative Ron Paul, a libertarian Republican and 2008 presidential primary candidate (and father of Tea Party backed Senate candidate Rand Paul), has written and proposed his own version of healthcare reform. If the GOP is truly interested in fixing the system and not simply scoring political points, they should consider it.

In keeping with his beliefs, the Private Option Health Care Act pending in the House of Representatives seeks to largely keep the government out of private business. There is no mandate to pay a fine if you don’t purchase a qualifying health insurance plan. It uses tax deductions and credits to make insurance more affordable, while encouraging people to sign up for Health Savings Accounts and other high-deductible coverage options that cause them to take greater responsibility for their health care.

It also uses the Constitution’s commerce clause–ironically under fire by Obama reform opponents–to allow the interstate selling and purchase of health insurance plans. At the same time, people will now be able to import prescription drugs from reputable countries with high quality control, like Canada and those in Western Europe. Tort reform is also involved, obviously, as a method of cutting costs. At the same time, consumer protection will be retained through a tax credit that pays for insurance against negative medical outcomes.

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4 Republican Ideas Now Included In Obama’s Healthcare Reform

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

Image: UPI

Although last week’s bipartisan healthcare reform summit appeared to make little headway in solving the impasse on the issue, it has nevertheless had an impact on the latest affordable health insurance proposal from President Obama.

The Obama administration has offered to add several ideas suggested by Republicans during the summit. These four proposals generally center on cost control, and include:

  • Some level of tort reform, through the expansion of pilot programs that seek to overhaul the medical malpractice system. These programs would not involve a jury trial; instead, they would create specialized health courts
  • Promoting Health Savings Accounts (HSA plans), which are touted as a way to reduce the unnecessary use of health care
  • Launching an investigative program, which would root out waste and fraud by sending private eyes disguised as patients
  • Increasing payments to providers who accept Medicaid, because lower reimbursement rates have resulted in many doctors refusing to accept that health insurance

Despite their concern with the budget deficit, some of the¬†aforementioned¬†Republican proposals (such as increasing Medicaid payments and launching the secret patient investigations) would require even more funding. Meanwhile, the heavily criticized Medicare Advantage exception–saving Florida alone from proposed cuts–was dropped.

The question is whether the GOP will budge in their opposition. It doesn’t appear very likely, because much of it is on ideological grounds. Not to mention, most legislators are up for re-election this year. However, the changes will probably anger some Democratic interest groups.

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