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New Bugs Defy Modern Medicine and Health Insurance Is Crucial

What a strange world we live in these days. It seems that more and more we are exposed to strange diseases like swine flu, SARS and other derivatives and mutations of what once used to be common illnesses. The world is rapidly changing and health care needs to evolve along with it.

If you have been stricken with a new illness or virus, you will know firsthand how important it is to have health insurance. If you don’t have health insurance and have to pay the medical bills on your own, you’re going to have a difficult financial struggle on your hands. All it takes is one illness and many doctors’ visits and perhaps a stay in hospital to wipe out any savings you may have had on hand.

To find reasonable health insurance coverage, shop online and compare quotes. It doesn’t take as long as it used to take.

To learn more and get a health insurance quote, visit www.benepath.com

Posted on Sunday, May 30th, 2010. Filed under Health Insurance.

Reduce Your Health Insurance Quotes by Loosing Weight the Right Way

For the 2/3’s of the people in the US who are either overweight or obese you will either pay more for health insurance or not be able to get health insurance because of your weight, at least until 2014. Like it or not, these people have a much greater chance of getting sick than the 1/3 of the population who are not overweight and the actual average medical expenses are 3 times greater than the people with healthy weight.

If you are in this group, when you get an online quote for health insurance expect the actual rate that you end up with to be at least 50% more than what you are looking at on the screen. That is about $3000 more a year for the typical family of 4 with a high deductible HSA type plan and about $6000 more if you opt for a plan with copays and low deductibles.

So, loosing the weight will pay off in real terms right away – if you can do it.

Now I am not a nutritionist, physician, etc. I am someone who did not get the right genes and have to fight my weight every day. So, I can empathize with those of you who look at your skinny friends who eat everything in site and don’t gain a pound while you eat what you consider to be modest portions and never loose weight.

But I have closely known many of the people who claim that its genes and I know the truth. If you are obese it is extremely likely that you:

 

  1. Eat more than you think
  2. Don’t exercise or exercise very infrequently
  3. If you do exercise, it gives you an excuse to have a quarter pounder, milk shake, gator aid, french fries, etc
  4. When you diet, you start some form of a food program that is essentially starving you – a program you could never actually live the rest of your life on. So, you loose some weight, go back to your old habits and gain it all back – and then some…
The math behind weight gain and weight loss does not require a Phd do understand:
Weight Gain is the Result of Taking in More Calories than You Burn
Weight Loss is the Result of Burning More Calories than You Take In
If you have a “slow” metabolism, see a doctor to verify it and then do something about it.
If you are ready to be honest with yourself and admit to the above, then you may be ready to change your behavior and loose weight in a healthy manner and then keep it off for life.
What do you need to change?
  1. Your Diet – And I do not mean diet in the “fad diet” sense. I mean what it is that you eat now, and what it is that you will eat for the rest of your life. The plain truth is you need a healthy eating program that you can stick with – forever! Now this does not mean giving up cake, cookies, chips, fries shakes, etc for the rest of your life, but it does mean that you will be cutting way back on them and when you do have some of these foods, that you make up for it with a bit more exercise or less food the next day.
  2. Exercise – First let me say how much I cringe every time I hear some expert on TV tell us that we need to have 90 minutes of exercise every day to do us any good. That is just false and I sincerely believe that people hear this and think – what is the point. The fact is 20 minutes of exercise three times a week is better than no exercise at all. Now that certainly is not optimal, but I understand that many of you have busy lives, kids, two jobs, etc and you just don’t have 90 minutes a day to devote to an exercise regimen.

free tv on pc

Some simple changes that will have a big impact on your weight
  1. Cut out Sugared Drinks – Seriously, just eliminate soda, athletic drinks, sugared waters, etc. Replace them with water (that is best) and diet soda.
  2. Limit the Amount of Fruit Juice You Drink – At least there is nutrition, and start cutting it with water. After a week you won’t know the difference and you will find that full strength juices are too sweet. Really.
  3. Cut out potato chips and french fries – Sure at a party, have a couple, but don’t buy them just to have around the house anymore and don’t get fries when you eat fast food.
  4. Don’t Supersize – Yea its a deal, but its a deal that will kill you. And try to choose the grilled chicken with no mayo instead of the burger. I ask for one of their barbecue sauce packets used for the chicken nuggets – saves a lot of bad fats.
  5. Don’t buy ice cream, cakes, cookies just to have around the house – these are treats, and when you don’t always have them at home, you won’t miss them. Then when you get them its a treat, not a normal part of your everyday meals.
  6. Switch from white break/pasta to whole grain break and pasta – First its actually more flavorful and delicious, second its way better for you.
  7. Sensible Portions – Start learning a few things about calories and get your calorie intake to a healthy level.
  8. Walk on a Routine – Pick a time of day and days of the week and go for a brisk walk. Drive the route you are going and try to build up to 3 miles. When you feel like it, switch from a walk to a run.
  9. Lift Some Weights – I don’t mean Mr Universe – just get some dumbells and do some basic weight lifting.
Follow the above and I am sure you will get results.

 

Posted on Friday, May 28th, 2010. Filed under Health Insurance, Life Insurance.

Save Money by Loosing Weight

No, I’m not writing about the latest get rich quick scheme; I’m writing about how being overweight costs you a lot of money and loosing weight will save you money.

Obesity causes or worsens a myriad of health conditions – diabetes, stroke, heart disease, hypertension, high cholesterol, cancer, sleep apnea, gout, bone spurs, and I could go on and on. When you add it up, obesity is probably the biggest reason health insurance costs go up so much every year.

If you maintain a healthy body weight and get a reasonable amount of exercise you will improve your health and you will reduce the amount of money you spend on health care. Think of all the copays, prescription costs, emergency room visits, etc you will be avoiding. And while the insurance company will bear most of the burden, you will face out of pocket expenses as well.

Then you can look at your earnings and how much less you earn because of obesity. The average obese person earns about $7,000 less a year than the comparable person with a healthy weight. Over a lifetime, that is a lot of money and this article gives a nice summary of the personal financial costs associated with obesity.

Finally, obesity shaves 10 years off of your life on average. 10 years less with your family and your friends.

That’s a lot of good reasons to finally do something about it and loose weight.

Posted on Thursday, May 27th, 2010. Filed under Health Insurance, Life Insurance.

Do You Want or Need an Office Copay in Your Health Plan?

We teach our children at a young age the difference between wants and needs, and in spite of our best efforts their understanding of this concept takes a while to sink in. If you’re a parent like me, you know its just how it is – if your aren’t a parent, go ask one.

And even when we grow up, not all of us have attained a real understanding of the difference. Its confusing and there are many blurry lines.

When it comes to health care, there should be NO confusion – getting care is a need not a want.

But having a copay is a want if you are buying health insurance for yourself.

Sure its convenient, its easy, and its nice to have. But it is not a need and its far more expensive than it is worth if you are buying insurance for yourself. (If you are getting your health insurance from your employer, this post isn’t really for you – get all the benefits you can…)

But when you have to pay for your own insurance, you will pay much more in additional premiums than the copay is worth.

An in-network office visit is going to cost about $45 – $75 after the insurance company discount and depending on whether the care is for primary or specialty care. So a $35 copay is only giving you a $10 to $40 benefit for every visit you have.

The additional health insurance premium you will pay is typically at least 25% more than the same plan without a copay.

So a plan that costs $4000 with a copay would cost about $3000 without an office copay benefit.

That’s a savings of $1000 a year which would cover the actual benefit you would receive on roughly 50 office visits a year.

How many times do you go to the doctor a year and do the math. I am pretty confident you will find out that the office visit is not the right decision.

Posted on Wednesday, May 26th, 2010. Filed under Health Insurance.

Finding Affordable Health Insurance

Whether you are seeking affordable health insurance coverage for yourself, your family or for your business, Benepath will gives you instant quotes for affordable health insurance coverage from the top health insurance providers. In just a few moments, you will see affordable health insurance plans including PPO plans, HSA plans and HMO plans. Furthermore, the Benepath website will permit users to view a comparison of the various health insurance quotes which have been sourced from the top health insurance providers in the country. This will ensure that you gain the assurance that their selected affordable health insurance coverage offers the best value for the money and is able to take care of their family’s or their staff’s health needs.

Comparing the benefits which are offered by a number of health insurance options is a wise move and thanks to the straightforward website of Benepath, you will be able to do just that – get the most affordable health insurance plan which is best suited to your particular needs

When looking for health insurance coverage, it is recommended that you select a local health insurance agent that has a good knowledge of the local insurance companies and their networks of doctors, pharmacies, and hospitals. A good agent can really help you avoid the “gotcha” too many people face when buying a plan without the help of an experienced agent.

Benepath has helped over 100,000 consumers who were seeking good value for their money find health insurance coverage that was able to meet their family’s healthcare needs. At Benepath you will receive quotations for affordable health insurance coverage from local insurance providers without any obligation. Feel free to visit the Benepath website at https://www.benepath.com and get no-cost, no-obligation, affordable health insurance quotes from many well-known health insurance providers.

Posted on Tuesday, May 25th, 2010. Filed under Health Insurance.

Where Do You Go for a Health Insurance Quote

People across the country have just seen a 20 – 50% increases in health insurance quotes in 2010. Kaiser Health News even recently reported on how government regulators were having a tough time determining the definition of an unreasonable rate increase.

frustrated woman looking for health insuranceShopping for a health insurance quote has never been so important or so necessary for businesses and individuals alike. Providing a quality standard of living is important for the well being of employees and their families and may seem like a challenge in today’s economic climate. With so many options available for medical coverage, it is difficult to know who to contact and even if it is worthwhile.

It may seem tempting to push the research for an affordable health insurance quote to the back burner, but not making that call can mean the difference of thousands of dollars. A health insurance quote may seem to have skyrocketed outside your budget, but what has become truly unaffordable to many is the meteorical rise in medical costs. If the need arises for any type of procedure involving surgery, hospitalization, ongoing treatments and prescription medication, you will be faced with serious costs that most people cannot afford (That’s why health insurance is soo expensive…).

The advantage of getting health insurance is that you are getting some means of being able to handle exorbitant medical bills.

Going through one of Benepath’s national network of insurance agents gives you the absolute best prices from the top insurance carriers in the nation with service from a local agent who understands which carriers are the best in your community for your needs. They will also give you a health insurance quote comparisons from all the top carriers to determine which is the most cost effective plan for you that covers the essentials you need.

Because medical costs keep rising, it is important to enroll in some type of coverage now, before the health insurance prices get even higher, even if all you do is get the most basic plan. There are three major reasons that could save you thousands for getting your health insurance plan now:

  1. Avoid Future Increases in Health Insurance Rates. We have just seen how rates have grown 20-50%. How much higher are they going to be when you finally make your decision on a health insurance plan?
  2. Don’t Wait Until its Too Late. It may be too late if you wait too long and you or a family member becomes sick. At the very best your costs will be higher and the worst case scenario may be that you cannot even get insurance.
  3. Peace of Mind. While the others are quantifiable, there is nothing like knowing you and your family have good coverage and that you won’t have to worry about what might happen.
Posted on Monday, May 24th, 2010. Filed under Health Insurance.

Make Sure You Set Up That HSA

For individuals and families buying health insurance for themselves, the smart decision is to get a high deductible health plan and not to buy a plan with copayments for prescriptions and office visits. The reason is simple – it will cost you much less in the long run.

However, if you do this, you must set up and fund an HSA!

There is a lot of evidence right now that when someone has a copay to see a doctor, that they will see the doctor many more times than someone who has to pay for the service out of their pocket. Which means that person is more likely to see a doctor when it is really needed and they will end up avoiding more expensive medical care.

The big advantage of the high deductible health plan is savings and protection. It protects you from the large health care expenses and saves you money today on your premiums. But don’t be dollar wise and penny foolish and not get the routine care you need on a day to day basis.

One of the best ways to help you avoid making cost decisions for care you need is by setting up a Health Savings Account (HSA). My recommendation is take at least half of what you save by purchasing a high deductible plan and investing in your HSA. For my family its $100 a month, and that covers all of our routine care like pediatric visits and prescriptions. We have a debit card attached to the HSA, so its easy to use as well. After all of our treatments, we even have money left over at the end of the year – and the interest is tax free.

Having the money in the HSA will help you avoid the mistake of not going to the doctor when its needed and will help you spread out the expenses you will certainly face as you take on a greater share of your necessary medical expenses.

And if you don’t use the money, when you turn 65 the savings that are there are the same as the money in your IRA. So its your’s to use without penalty. But you can still take the money out tax-free for medical expenses – which will be one of your biggest expenses when you retire.

Happy Hunting!

Posted on Thursday, May 20th, 2010. Filed under Health Insurance.

Considering an HMO for Your Health Insurance Plan?

Because HMOs use physician and hospital networks with the least expensive providers possible these health insurance plans are able to provide you with benefits most people like such as low copayments for office visits.

The downside is that when you see health care providers outside of the network, you will end up paying much more if not all of the cost of the care because HMOs offer limited or no benefits for out of network care except in the case of an emergency. This is why many people who have serious medical conditions do not join these plans.

The managed health care plans that allow you greater flexibility are the HMO Point of Service (POS) and the Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) insurance programs. These plans will cover some or all of the medical services that you need with health care providers who are not part of the network. But check all the policy provisions and make sure that they will cover the type of service you are receiving and with the physician of your choice.

When you start comparing different health insurance quotes for yourself, your family or your business you will likely find that the deductible and other out of pocket benefits for these plans are quite a bit higher than a plan without copayments for office visits for the same price.

So, you need to consider why you are buying health insurance in the first place. Is it to:

Have the convenience of a low copayment when you visit a doctor? or
To protect you from the costs associated with a serious medical emergency?
The smart money always buys insurance for things that need insurance. In the case of health care, that is protecting against catastrophic loss. But most people complain about how much money they spend on health insurance and how little they get in return. So they end up buying HMO and PPO plans and hope they don’t get really sick. A decision like that can be one you end up regretting.

Posted on Thursday, May 20th, 2010. Filed under Health Insurance.

Who Do You Trust for Health Insurance Quotes?

In an altruistic world, where service truly is the focus of the provider and especially those selling their services, you might expect the answer to the question, “Who can you trust?” to be anyone in the health care industry. Health insurance is there to provide services for people who are insuring the health, wealth, and happiness of themselves and their loved ones so that you would hope that the business offering the health insurance quotes would have your best interests at heart.

Unfortunately, carpet baggers and snake oil pushers are still prevalent in today’s society and its critical to avoid health insurance scam artists. While the cost and benefits of policies from well known and respected companies are highly regulated; there are companies selling everything from health plans with little to no insurance or plain old discount plans to consumers as full blown health insurance plans. Recently, the New York Times reported on companies using health reform to further defraud consumers.

Some web sites offer online health insurance quotes and preferred package opportunities that are only scams to collect your email address which they sell to as many spam lists as they can. Another down side of choosing health insurance quotes that appear low and seem highly affordable is the possibility that when you need coverage you find out that everything is so limited that you basically have no coverage.

So which health insurance quotes provider can you trust? Those from well established websites like Benepath who provide the best prices available, the same prices that you can get directly from the carriers themselves, and the ability to compare the top companies’ packages with HMO, PPO, and HSA quotes. Health Insurance websites like Benepath have lots of plans from top carriers to review and Benepath partners with local agents across the country to provide you with those quotes.

You can trust a company that encourages you to choose only the medical insurance quotes with the health services that you need, rather than an inflated package that expands either the practitioner’s or the carrier’s pocket by giving you unnecessary benefits and coverage. Sites that allow you to compare health insurance quotes from reputable carriers like Aetna, Anthem, Blue Cross, and UnitedHealthcare who are financially strong and will be around to assist you in your hour of need are where you should invest your time.

Companies like Benepath work with local insurance agents and help you select the right health insurance quotes from the nations’ top carriers. Benepath gives you the ability to do online comparisons, they connect you with local agents with expertise who will help you choose the right plan, and then give you the opportunity to apply online and not wait any longer to get the coverage that your family deserves. Getting health insurance quotes takes only seconds online with no obligation and no hard sell follow up.

Posted on Wednesday, May 19th, 2010. Filed under Health Insurance.

Your Health Affects Your Health Insurance Quotes

Mom with sick child
If you opt to not have a plan because of high insurance rates, do not wait until your health is a problem to start looking. If your health plan has been to not visit the doctor and not take medications, you may be quite surprised when you finally have a reason to check health insurance quotes. Health insurance companies view sick people as a risk, so they charge you more because they are more likely to pay more in actual claims than they receive in premiums. Depending on your condition and the carrier, you may not even be able to get coverage or could have your coverage taken away after you approved because of some technicality. The LA Times reported on how several insurers rescinded policies for many people who were sick due to technicalities in their applications.

Even though health insurance rates are high, hospital bills, surgeons, medications, and post procedure care can be exorbitant. What could have been manageable with a monthly payment for a health insurance plan now threatens the ability for you and your family to enjoy a healthy and happy life. In the end, it pays to have health insurance. Your health insurance rates will also impacted by your age, your past health record, and the part of the United States that you live in.

Posted on Wednesday, May 19th, 2010. Filed under Health Insurance, Life Insurance.