Six Health Insurance Plans To Choose From for Your Family or Business

In today’s society, health insurance represents a controversial subject, and from HMOs and PPOs to HDHPs and EPOs, the many different coverage options can be difficult to understand. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to protect yourself, your loved ones, and/or your valued employees with this type of coverage, especially considering the costly nature of health care. Whether you’re looking for individual or group health insurance, the highlights of each plan listed below will help you better understand the options available to you, allowing you to find the best health insurance coverage for your specific needs.

HMO – Health Maintenance Organization

A coverage option for both individuals and groups, the type of health insurance plan known as a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) uses a Primary Care Physician (PCP) to direct all health care. Under this type of plan, services are provided by physicians and allied health care personnel who are employed by or under contract with the HMO. If you select this type of prepaid, or capitated health insurance plan, individuals will pay a small monthly fee to be a member of the HMO, as well as small fees or copayments for specified health care services. Except in the event of an emergency, no benefits are available outside of the provider network.

PPO – Preferred Provider Organization

Another plan option when looking for health insurance, the Preferred Provider Organization allows you to self-refer to any provider in the network. Under a PPO, hospitals and physicians provide discounted rates to plan members, so when receiving services from in-network providers, you will enjoy a greater benefit, which may be as high as 90 to 100 percent after the deductible. In regard to treatment received outside of the network, you will typically be reimbursed 60 to 80 percent, and these services typically have a lifetime maximum benefit per member (ie: $1,000,000). With this type of health insurance plan, all in-network office visits, the ER and prescription drugs are covered for just a co-pay, but pre-authorization requirements must be met, regardless of whether the provider is in- or out-of-network.

POS – Point of Service

Similar to an HMO in-network plan, the Point of Service (POS) health plan uses a PCP as a “gatekeeper” to refer cases to other in-network providers. Although you will pay more out of pocket if you opt to receive treatment from an out-of-network provider, as an insured individual under a POS plan, you are allowed to see either in-network or out-of-network providers.

EPO – Exclusive Provider Organization

Similar to the PPO health insurance plan, the Exclusive Provider Organization or EPO allows you to self-refer to any provider in the network. However, unlike the PPO, there is no out of network coverage under an EPO health insurance plan, except in the event of an emergency. If you choose this type of plan, you will have coverage for office visits, the ER, and prescription drugs for just a co-pay. Like the PPO, pre-authorization requirements must be met under the EPO as well.

Indemnity

Indemnity health plans, also known as “fee-for-service” plans, existed primarily before the rise of PPOs and HMOs, and provide traditional coverage. As an insured individual under an indemnity plan, you are allowed to receive services from the doctor, clinic, or hospital of your choice, but will pay a predetermined percentage of the cost of health care services, while your insurance company (or self-insured employer) will finance the remaining costs. Individual providers determine the fees for these services, causing them to vary from one physician to another. Under these types of plans, there are normally no co-pays for visits to your doctor’s office and a deductible generally applies.

High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP)

Under a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP), all covered services are subject to your deductible, with the exception of routine preventive care, which is fully covered. If you opt for this plan, you typically will not be charged co-pays for prescription drugs or visits to your doctor’s office. HDHPs can be either EPO or PPO plans and may be paired with an H.S.A. (Health Savings Account). Both the annual contribution levels for the H.S.A., and the deductible and out of pocket maximums under the HDHP are determined by the IRS.

In today’s society, health insurance is a controversial and at times, confusing topic, so when looking to find the most appropriate NH health insurance plan for your family or business’s specific needs, it’s best to rely on an independent insurance agent like Eaton & Berube Insurance Agency.

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Health Insurance For Truck Drivers And Other Health Care Options

It is vitally important that commercial truck drivers have some type of medical care plan due to the high rate of illnesses and injuries that they sustain. Most commercial truck drivers health is not the best and could be improved through better food choices. Typically, many truckers diets consist of far too many unhealthy food choices. High blood pressure, diabetes and obesity are a few of the conditions which require regular medical treatment. Accidents, injuries, heart attacks and strokes are some of the serious conditions which would require drivers to seek emergency room care. Health Insurance for truck drivers would cover these conditions and many more. Health insurance plans differentiate based on whether they provide regular health insurance or major medical health insurance.

Regular health insurance covers basic routine procedures. This includes regular exams and routine illnesses. This also includes colds, flu shots, vaccinations, ear infections, minor injuries, etc. It does not include coverage for serious health problems.

Major medical health insurance is for serious health concerns. This covers serious illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, strokes, accidents, etc. No one can ever predict when a medical emergency will occur as one could occur anywhere, and anytime to anyone. Serious medical problems such as these are very expensive and could financially devastate those who don’t have insurance coverage.

Major medical plans are often sold in combination with a comprehensive health plan that covers preventive care. One can be used to cover basic health care expenses such as routine doctor visits such as infections, colds, flu, minor injuries, etc. The other can be used to cover expensive emergency room visits and the treatment of serious diseases and long-term illnesses.

Many commercial truck drivers, especially independent operators don’t have any health insurance plan. Fortunately, a new plan offered by the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) can help by offering a basic health care plan. OOIDA is a company which fights for the rights of all professional truckers. OOIDA has introduced a plan called “My Community Care.” This is not an insurance plan but rather a membership program which provides medical care for injuries or illnesses as well as preventive health and wellness services. This plan does not cover life-threatening conditions or serious injuries. This health plan is available to truck drivers and their families.

This is a membership based program so interested drivers must join OOIDA and can do so for a very nominal fee. New members have 60 days from the effective date of their membership to enroll in the “My Community Care” Program. The open enrollment for the “My Community Care” program for current members has been extended until May 31, 2012. The cost for this program is $89.00 per month. That is your only cost for most services. All visits to the center for you and your family are provided at no additional cost. Infants are eligible once they reach six months of age. Adult children are covered through the age of 26. There are no exclusions for pre-existing conditions. There are no deductibles or co-pays at the direct health care centers. This is certainly a very affordable option for many drivers.

Services provided include illness, injuries, preventive care, general care and urgent care. The wide range of services offered include vaccinations, colds, flu, sprains, back pain, urinary tract infections, minor burns, sinus infections, bronchitis and annual work, school, sports and DOT physicals. Additional services offered are x-ray and imaging services. Limited lab work is provided at no cost.

OOIDA has contracted with over 1,300 direct health care centers throughout the United States to provide this service. One of the participating centers is Concentra Medical Center. Many truck drivers are already familiar with Concentra because it is a place where many of them obtain medical services and get their DOT physical. Services at these direct health care centers are available at no additional cost. A nationwide network of over 17,000 providers has been contracted for additional services such chiropractic and physical therapy. These services are available to members at a 25% to 30% discount. Discounts are available on eyewear including contact lenses, prescription drugs, dental care and diabetic care supplies. Discounts are also available for MRI and CT scans. Additional services include a 24 hour nurse-doctors hotline. Not all services are available at all locations.

All commercial truck drivers that are OOIDA members are eligible to sign up for this program. Many uninsured drivers and their families have postponed or gone without basic medical care even when ill due to a shortage of funds. With this plan all of them could obtain basic health care when needed. Truck drivers health should improve with regular access to health care. Although, this is not an insurance program it is a program which drivers can access and have peace of mind knowing that they and their families can get basic health care at a very nominal cost.

Go to Truckingsos.com to read more articles about trucking and truck drivers such as health insurance for truck drivers and truck drivers health.

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Workplace Health Screenings Promote Healthy Employees and Productivity

Workplace health should be one of your top priorities. After all, healthy employees mean less sick days and more productivity. Even when a sick employee is at work, they are not at the top of their game and they’re not near as productive as they (or you) would like to be. When this happens, it costs you both time and money and produces very unhappy employees.

With workplace health screenings, employees can find out what their health problems are early and put a stop to them before they become very serious. This is something that’s good for not just you as an employer but also good for your employees.

What benefits do you get with workplace health screenings?

Workplace health screenings pick up on health-related issues that would ordinarily go unnoticed. Cholesterol and blood pressure screenings can help employees identify if they are at risk for heart disease. Both of these conditions are treatable with lifestyle changes which will lower the risk for heart disease. When dealt with early on, it can stave off a future heart attack, which can be a serious loss to your business.

You can also get glucose checks to identify diabetes or pre-diabetes. Bear in mind that employees could have type 2 diabetes and have no inkling of it whatsoever. After all, the symptoms of type 2 diabetes are very subtle and can take time to rear their ugly head.

Pre-diabetes is when blood sugar levels are high but not considered diabetic level range. People with pre-diabetes are folks with a high risk of developing full-scale diabetes, unless they make some serious changes and get treatment. Type 2 diabetes is a significant risk factor for a number of diseases like heart disease.

Workplace health screenings might be the only health checks your employees get

Many employees don’t make their health the top priority. Some folks won’t see a doctor for years or have their blood pressure or cholesterol levels checked out. While workplace health screenings shouldn’t be a replacement for doctor-checked blood studies and physical exams, they can screen and identify health issues like high cholesterol, blood sugar levels and high blood pressure before the health issues become very troublesome.

With a little investment and time, you can screen your employees for potential health problems to ensure they stay healthy and productive.

Health screenings work to encourage employees to adopt healthier habits

Workplace health screenings contribute to employee health by inspiring them to re-evaluate the lifestyle behaviors they currently have. When companies place priority on employees’ health, it makes them more motivated to reassess their lifestyle, food choices and exercise routine. If an employee knows they’ve got high cholesterol, they’re more apt to see their doctor and make the necessary lifestyle changes they need to correct it.

Employers can benefit by proposing wellness programs to assist their employees to quit smoking or lose weight. When these health issues are addressed, the staff’s health is improved overall. According to research, smokers will suffer from frequent respiratory infections, which will result in more sick days and productivity loss.

Employees like the proactive stance employers take with health screenings

Employees are grateful when their employers take interest in their well-being. Workplace health screenings actually encourage good will between co-workers. It’s a situation that is a winner for both the business and its employees. Businesses can benefit by ensuring employees are healthier and more focused on productivity than their health.

The bottom line?

Basically, not all employees are worried about their health like they should be. However, workplace health screenings allows them to know what their health is like; information they may not have gotten without it. These screenings can inspire them to make healthier lifestyle choices and keep future health problems at bay. This is why many companies are opting for workplace health screenings

Workplace health [http://triscope.net/workplace-health/FAQ] and wellness programs can help your company reduce its business costs and improve team morale.

Brad Booysen is the founder and director of Triscope, a successful corporate wellness company. Triscope offers a range of cost effective yet easily administered wellness programs for companies who want to reduce their business costs and look after their most valuable asset..their people. For all your corporate wellness needs contact Brad Booysen of Triscope.

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The Connection Between Teeth and Health Problems

It’s no big secret that a pearly white smile is attractive. What people might not know, however, is that bright white teeth do more than make a smile look good: they also provide dentists and oral health professionals with clues about your body’s overall well-being. The truth is, your oral health and overall health share a pretty significant link. That’s why it’s important to practice good dental health awareness.

So what is oral health, exactly? It’s the processes involved with keeping your teeth, gums and mouth tissue healthy. Dental health awareness – things like noticing teeth discoloration or keeping track of sensitive areas, and then reporting your findings to a dentist – may help you prevent a slew of different diseases. Because when it comes to your teeth and health problems, one might just tip you off to the other. You might be amazed at what your teeth can tell you.

Diabetes: There is a direct connection between your teeth and health problems caused by sugars, and cavities might only be the symptoms. Inflammation in the mouth decreases your body’s ability to process insulin. If you suffer from inflamed gums, it might be a sign of diabetes.

Heart Disease: Gum inflammation strikes again! Studies show that up to 91% of patients with some type of cardiovascular problems suffer from periodontitis (the medical term for severe gum disease). Periodontitis can lead to tooth loss, which can breed infections in the mouth. Once again, your oral health and overall health are linked: severe gum infections are usually found in patients with clogged arteries, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Alzheimer’s: Dentists and researchers are still unsure about the correlation between poor oral health and Alzheimer’s, but they know that there is one. Tooth loss before the age of 35 may indicate a propensity for Alzheimer’s later in life, so increasing your dental health awareness now may play a pivotal role later in life.

Low Birth Weight: There is a connection between a mother’s teeth and health problems like low birth weight and premature birth. Premature birth can cause a baby’s lungs or heart to be underdeveloped, and some studies document premature birth and low birth weights to developmental disorders.

Cancer: Perhaps the most serious connection between your teeth and health problems is the discovery of cancer. Smoking causes tooth discoloration; too many sugars lead to obesity or even diabetes. But dental health awareness might also clue you in to the development of cancerous cells in your body: bleeding gums, excessive cavities or lesions in your mouth may all be directly linked to some form of cancer. So even if you refrain from lifestyle choices that might put you at risk, your teeth and severe health problems are still connected.

Oral Health and Overall Health

Good dental health awareness is the key to keeping your teeth – and maybe even to saving your life. So how can you keep strong teeth AND keep health problems at bay? Simple.

· Brush your teeth at least twice a day.
· Floss every day.
· See your dentist regularly.
· Keep an eye on your diet.
· Quit smoking.
· Replace your toothbrush regularly (3-4 times a year is best).
· Practice good dental health awareness by noting any changes in your gums or mouth, and contacting a dentist to discuss them.

By following the “rules,” your mouth will stay healthy – and the rest of your body should too.

Dr. Goldberg received his D.D.S. from University of Maryland at Baltimore. He is a member of the American Dental Association, the New Jersey Dental Association, the Jersey Coast Dental Forum, and the Seattle Study Club. His pursuit of continuing education annually exceeds state requirements including the Mid-Atlantic Dental Implant Center and a 2003-2004 Residency in Implant Prosthetics. Howell Dental Associates

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Differences Between Local and Global Health Insurance Plans

While investigating healthcare options, many people will have noticed that there is a great variety of health insurance options. Depending on the local healthcare system of the country you’re looking for health cover in, the local private health plans will be similarly varied in order to meet the needs of the populace that may be going unfulfilled by the healthcare system.

However, while each country may have their own local health plans, there are also global health insurance plans that can provide health coverage around the world. Local plans will be typically limited to covering healthcare in their own country, although some insurance providers are looking into plans where medical tourism may help keep costs low. Global health plans on the other hand will provide health insurance coverage internationally; depending on the quality of the local healthcare system, this would allow the policyholder to seek treatment somewhere where they feel the facilities could provide satisfactory care.

Geographical Coverage

Given that local health plans will only cover the policyholder in the country it was taken out in, if the policyholder relocates to another country, they will have to take out a new policy in the country they have moved to. Should the policyholder have developed a long term illness prior to moving, then this illness will probably not be covered under new health policies as it will be a pre-existing condition. Global health insurance plans will typically only require the policyholder to file a change of address form, whereby coverage will continue. This is often referred to as the portability of the insurance plan.

Renewability

While many of the differences between global and local health plans come down to their geographic areas of coverage, there are other areas in which how the plans are structured diverge. One such divergence is how local or global health insurance plans will renew policies, or more specifically for how long. Often times, both local and global medical insurance plans will place age limits on applicants that they will accept, with 65 being the general cut off point, although some insurers may allow people up to the age of 80 to apply. What sets the local and global plans apart is that most local health insurance plans will often not renew the policyholder’s plan when they get older, whereas most global plans will guarantee the ability to renew the plan for as long as the policyholder wishes.

Calculating Premiums

Local and global health insurance companies also typically have a different system for assessing and adjusting their premiums every year. Most global health insurance plans are referred to as being ‘community rated’ meaning that when the insurance company is reviewing their plans, they decide how much the next year’s premiums will cost based on the age of everyone on the plan and the growth in medical inflation. Most local insurance plans will typically be ‘experience rated’ meaning that while they also take medical inflation into account, the majority of your premium will be calculated based on your claims history. This means that when you first take out the local private medical insurance, it will likely be quite inexpensive as you haven’t made any claims. Once the plan comes up for renewal, the insurer will look at your claims history for the year and raise your premiums accordingly.

While this highlights the biggest differences between local and global private medical insurance plans, there are other differences such as the typically higher annual limits on benefits with global plans. While some plans may be similar, the exact coverage of benefits will vary by insurer. It is important to make sure that as a policyholder one understands what coverage their plan offers them, whether it is a local or global policy.

If you have further questions on Global Health Insurance plans, Ben Stanley invites you to visit http://www.global-health-insurance.com/. You can find in depth information on a variety of global health insurance plans from different insurers, or visit http://www.global-health-insurance.com/contact_us/other/ to get in touch with an experienced adviser who can offer you advice and free quotes on global health insurance plans that may fit your needs.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Ben_Stanley/1340195