Most expecting parents wonder what the healthcare costs are for a baby. There is a simple approach to guide you. There have been a number of changes to health insurance in the past few years, mandating more benefits for maternity coverage. Our step by step insurance explanation will provide a little insight into the complicated healthcare system. In addition, give you an estimate on the amount that you will need to be set aside for the pending bundle of joy. (more…)
The best tip to save at the pharmacy is to know your insurance benefits might not be the best price available. Most insurance plans have a “tier” drug pricing structure. Basically, costs start low for generic and commonly used prescriptions. However, brand names or new drugs will cost much more.
The best advice is to shop before you buy, even if you have insurance.
- Each pharmacy has different retail costs, meaning prices vary drastically. Based on the latest Consumer Reports, CVS and Walgreens were some of the more costly options. Costco and Walmart are much better options. Look for deals, such as $4 for generics and $10 for brands. Specials on brand drugs save you the most. In order to locate better options, here are a few helpful sources to get you started.
- Savings programs are very prevalent now. Most savings programs send you a card to use in place of your insurance card. However, there are a few options that take additional savings after your insurance. This drastically lowers your cost, providing a double discount. The best incentive is a number of savings programs are free. It cost you nothing to join.
- Savings Programs: http://www.4rxcard.com/, http://www.americasdrugcard.org/, and http://www.rxcarecard.com/.
- Drug Manufacturers Discounts are the best kept secret. Drug manufacturer discounts allow you to obtain brand or new drugs at substantially lower costs. These types of savings are not widely publicized; however, usually are the cheapest option. Unfortunately, this is not a continuous benefit. The discounts usually have an expiration date, 3 to 24 months. Savings plans often are a flat fee, much like a co-pay. For top tier drugs, this could be a savings of hundreds. Manufacturers want consumers using their prescription, so offering a discount is a great marketing method.
- Drug Manufacturer discounts can be found directly on their websites.
Take the time to shop around, especially if you are filling prescriptions each month. The costs might not seem substantial, but over time these costs add up quickly. Use the savings for something more exciting than prescriptions, like band aids and nail polish.
Need more ways to save, email us directly on our website.
It’s denial season! A denial is a confirmation from a health insurance company that payment will not be made for a particular service or visit. Basically, you are paying most, if not all of the cost. If you used your health insurance already this year, you are at risk. (more…)
Holiday Medical Costs Add Up
Are you buying gifts for the holidays? You might want to budget for a few additional costs. During the holiday season, there is an estimated 80,000 injured people due to accidentally over-celebrating during the holiday season. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s, emergency room and hospital admissions increase each year. This is a common trend, but are you aware of the associated Holiday Medical Costs? (more…)
While having medical insurance is important; however, being underinsured is actually a larger problem. In 2014, 31 million Americans are underinsured, with the majority resulting from employer-based health plans. According to The Commonwealth Fund, the number of underinsured has remained unchanged, since 2014. Likely, this trend will continue.
What is Underinsured?
Underinsured people have health insurance, but cannot afford the out-of-pockets costs, such as deductible, co-payments, co-insurance, etc. It is financially detrimental to continue with health services under their health plan’s benefit structure.
Technically, underinsured is measured by meeting one of the following criteria:
- Out-of-pocket costs, excluding premiums, over the prior 12 months are equal to 10 percent or more of household income
- Out-of-pocket costs, excluding premiums, are equal to 5 percent or more of household income if income is under 200 percent of the federal poverty level ($22,980 for an individual and $47,100 for a family of four)
- Deductible is 5 percent or more of household income
The astonishing part is 13% of privately insured adults have deductibles equal to 5%+ of their income (The Commonwealth, 2015). If your income is $50,000, most likely your deductible is at least $2,500, which must be paid in full prior to using most healthcare services. Deductibles are designed to keep you from only using health services that are needed, but more often high deductible plans deter patients from obtaining critical or needed care.
Why do you pay a premium for health insurance that is too expensive to use? Based on 2014, half of Americans earning on average $50,000 to $95,000 stated it was difficult to afford their deductibles. Of this same group, 21% skipped prescriptions or delayed care due to healthcare expenses, even though they had health insurance.
Can you afford your healthcare costs? Find out in our next posting how to determine if you are underinsured?
Do you need health insurance for your company or maybe your current insurance isn’t cutting it? In this article, you will find the best health insurance plans for small businesses to suit any combination of employees’ benefit needs. Here at Healthcare Deciphered, we used our expertise to rank plans according to several criteria, which we believe to be most important: affordability, plan variety, member benefit selection, and wellness incentives. (more…)