Friday, June 29, 2007

Low Cost Health Insurance

Policies and Procedures

I would like to share some of the policies, procedures, and ideals of our company with our visitors.

We are an independent health insurance brokerage with no allegiance to any one insurance company. Our only allegiance is to our clients.

Our objective is finding our clients the best health insurance coverage for the lowest monthly premium. This is accomplished through education and knowledge of risk assumption.

We believe in full and uniform disclosure by all insurance companies. In our opinion, this is one of the biggest flaws in the current system. There is no uniform disclosure legislation to force all insurers to reveal information in the same foremat to the consumer.

We do not believe in insurance companies incentivising brokers to sell their products. Our objective is to provide the best coverage, not win a free trip to Hawaii.

We believe in exhibiting the highest degree of integrity possible in our dealings with clients and insurance companies. Honesty and ethics should be an integral part of any broker's day to day activities.

Finally, we believe in an informational, no-pressure approach to procuring the best health insurance plans for our clients.

John F. Pack
Cindy Strickland
Low Cost Health Insurance

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Presidential Candidates' Health Plan Ideas

As the Presidential Candidates release details on their health plan proposals, we will try and keep our blog updated with information on their ideas. Please click below for information on Senator Barack Obama's ideas:

John F. Pack
Low Cost Health Insurance

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Health Savings Accounts

New health savings accounts (HSA's) represent a viable option for those searching for low cost health insurance. A health savings account is a special tax-sheltered savings account for medical expenses and is similar to an IRA in concept. Instead of purchasing high-priced health insurance with low co-pays, you buy low cost health insurance (with a high deductible) for the "big bills" and deposit the difference in the HSA to cover the "small bills." Money deposited into health savings accounts is 100% tax deductible and can be easily accessed by check or debit card to pay medical bills tax-free including expenses not covered by insurance like dental and vision. Monies not used for medical expenses remain the property of the individual account holder, not the insurance company. The benefits of health savings accounts are numerous and include the following:

  • Lower monthly health insurance premiums
  • More stability in premiums
  • Immediate tax savings
  • Long-term growth potential
  • Tax-free withdrawals to pay medical expenses
  • Tax-free withdrawals to pay for long-term care insurance or COBRA premiums
  • Freedom to choose your own medical providers
  • More control over your own healthcare decisions

If you are looking for low cost health insurance and have a desire not to pay high health insurance premiums while reducing federal income taxes, you should definitely look into health savings accounts. All major carriers including Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Health Net, Nationwide, and United/PacifiCare offer excellent HSA compatible plans. Health savings accounts are the wave of the future! You owe it to yourself to check them out!

John F. Pack
Low Cost Health Insurance

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Is It Time for Uniform Disclosure Legislation in Health Insurance?

Ethics in business is a prevailing issue in today’s society. All categories of business contain many ethical and honest companies and personnel, however there is always a segment of those who are either less ethical or simply fail to disclose all the facts of a transaction. The health insurance industry is a business category where lack of disclosure could lead to significant monetary cost for today’s consumer.

Aside from the issue of ethics, there is the issue of how information is presented to the public by health insurance carriers. Today, there is no disclosure legislation in place to assure that everyone is presenting features of plans in a uniform manner. In this writer’s opinion, there are five critical elements to any health insurance plan:

· Major medical deductible
· Coinsurance percentage
· Coinsurance or out of pocket maximum
· Doctor visit co-pay
· Rx benefits

An example of lack of uniform disclosure is the manner in which the coinsurance maximum is presented to a prospective buyer. This is an important term in that it signifies when a health plan member has paid out the limit of his liability, usually based on a calendar year, thus reaching a point where the insurance carrier pays all remaining covered expenses at 100%. Certain carriers include the deductible amount in the coinsurance maximum, while others do not, thus leading to consumer confusion.

Another example is that a few health carriers sell plans that contain deductibles by incident rather than by calendar year, which means that if an insured member is hospitalized more than once in a calendar year for different issues, he or she has to satisfy the deductible on each occurrence. This feature is hardly ever communicated to the consumer and leads to confusion and consternation when claims are not paid.

Many ethical insurance brokers’ major frustration with the industry is related to cases in which brokers or carrier representatives “misrepresent” coverage benefits by omission. If a uniform disclosure act was passed and simply covered the basics, the consumer would be able to make a more intelligent purchasing decision, and those companies and brokers who are only interested in the sale would have to exert much more caution in how they present health plans. Uniform disclosure puts everyone on a more level playing field and actually would greatly assist the many conscientious agents whose primary objective is helping clients obtain the best health insurance coverage for their personal needs and budget.

John F. Pack
Low Cost Health Insurance