Health Insurance

Some Good News for Senior Medicare Beneficiaries

14 Oct: Some Good News for Senior Medicare Beneficiaries

Last Thursday, the Obama administration announced that senior Medicare beneficiaries will pay the same premiums in 2015 that they are paying this year and the same as the premiums they paid in 2013. This is good news for seniors who use Medicare, most of whom will pay a premium of $104.90 per month. These premiums fall under Part B of the federal insurance program and affect people who are over 65 years of age. They cover visits to the doctor, outpatient care, and necessary medical supplies. What About Deductibles? Annual deductibles for the majority of people who fall under Part B of the Medicare program will also remain unchanged. It is currently $147 for most people and this will be the deductible…

Medi-Share: A Viable Alternative to Opt-Out of Obamacare

02 Dec: Medi-Share: A Viable Alternative to Opt-Out of Obamacare

Obamacare has dominated the media as a complete debacle. With millions of Americans suffering from dropped insurance plans and struggling to find a solution in compliance with the Affordable Care Act’s deadlines and to provide for their medical needs, the whole situation is daunting and disheartening. Medi-Share is a viable and affordable solution to opt out of Obamacare for those who profess and live a faith-filled life with Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. For those interested, the program is well worth serious consideration. A Truly Unique System Those interested in Medi-Share first need to be aware of one key fact: Participation in the program is only an option for those living a Christian faith. The reason is simply that qualifying is…

How to Get Christian Health Insurance Coverage

18 Jun: How to Get Christian Health Insurance Coverage

Acts 4:34 states, “For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales.” [1] This was an extraordinary, spontaneous out-pouring of love on the part of the new believers in the early church. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see that happen today? Christians are concerned about healthcare costs and the implications of the Affordable Health Care Act passed by the Obama administration. Many have wondered how to get Christian health insurance coverage. Medi-share is a company that provides health and disability coverage that is based on biblical principles. How to Get Christian Health Insurance Coverage Medi-share is a cost sharing program, which…

Tips on How to Get Prescription Medication Without Health Insurance

09 May: Tips on How to Get Prescription Medication Without Health Insurance

Prescription medication is vital for the health of many people, but without health insurance, many prescriptions can be unaffordable. As a result, consumers are commonly forced to go without the medicines they need. If you’re wondering how to get prescription medication without health insurance, below is a look at ways to get prescription drugs for lower prices. Speak with a Doctor If you’re taking a newer medication, your doctor may be able to give you samples or even a discount card that lets you get an entire month’s supply for free. If you explain your inability to afford the medication you need, many doctors will do what they can to help you get the drugs you need at a price…

What is Medi-Share and How Does It Work?

02 Apr: What is Medi-Share and How Does It Work?

Despite what most people may think, Medi-Share is not like an insurance policy. Health insurance is a policy that comes with a contractual agreement, entitling you to pay for your medical bills. On the other hand, Medi-Share revolves in the concept of members sharing their medical bills. This is done on a non-guaranteed basis. The concept also involves trusting God to supply during their times of need by means of the charitable gifts of other Christians. Medi-Share is a Christian health insurance alternative. What Makes Medi-Share Exceptional? Medi-Share has been working to provide its members the assistance they need through the concept of sharing and helping one another. There are four main factors that make Medi-Share exceptional. Medi-Share Has Been…

prescription discounts

12 Mar: How Patients Can Get Prescription Discounts Right Now Without Insurance

Medications are often cheap for people with insurance, but the average cost of prescription drugs without insurance can be expensive. Fortunately, it’s still possible to still get prescription discounts in this situation. For example, assistance plans are available through certain pharmaceutical companies to cover part of the price of their prescription drugs. In addition, some retailers offer savings programs that let users buy generic drugs at discount prices far below the cost of name-brand versions. But there is one “tried and true” way of getting prescription discounts right now if you don’t have insurance and you want to save right now. Keep reading — we save the best for last! Standard Pill Costs Unfortunately, it’s difficult for consumers to calculate costs of…

Medi-Share: Your Christian Health Insurance Alternative

20 Feb: Medi-Share: Your Christian Health Insurance Alternative

As Americans debate President Obama’s health care plan, many are seeking a Christian health insurance alternative. Medi-Share is an option that some are using and others are considering. The self-described “Christian care medical sharing” program promises all the benefits health insurance without the high monthly premiums. How Medi-Share Differs from Health Insurance Medi-Share is a member-based health care program where Christians help each other. It is not health insurance, but it serves the same purpose. Health insurance involves a contractual agreement to pay someone’s medical bills. Medi-Share is an organized health care sharing ministry where members voluntarily share medical costs. The Biblical Principles of Medi-Share Medi-Share was founded on biblical principles. Members follow the mandates found in Galatians, Ephesians and…

18 May: Healthy Workforce Act deserves our support

I read an op-ed in the Dallas Morning News last Thursday that really impressed me, giving me hope that true healthcare reform may be just around the corner. The piece was co-written by Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas and Democratic Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa. Its purpose was to advocate the proposed Healthy Workforce Act, which the senators introduced last month with the White House’s endorsement. This bill is a perfect example of the kind of legislation that both parties can get behind. It gives substantial tax credits to businesses that offer a comprehensive wellness program to their employees, encompassing employee gyms, smoking-cessation support, nutrition programs, and other initiatives. Sounds like a no-brainer to me. Some excerpts from the…

22 Sep: Get out your party hats; it’s Doughnut Hole Day

From the Sarasota Herald-Tribune: In health care circles, Monday is Doughnut Hole Day, the deceptively storybook name for a nasty plot turn in the drama of getting prescriptions filled when you’re over 65 and living close to the bone. The hole is the gap in coverage built into Medicare’s Part D prescription drug program, which pays most of the first $2,250 in patient prescriptions and 95 percent of drug expenses over $5,850. Doughnut Hole Day is the point on the calendar at which large numbers of people with chronic illness begin to exceed $2,250 in drug costs, leaving them to pay full price for their prescriptions until they have spent $3,600 out of pocket. An August Kaiser study showed that…

18 Aug: What is prescription drug insurance, anyway?

Journalist Carol M. Ostrom wrote a well-researched — and heartbreaking — story on prescription drug insurance that appeared in Sunday’s Seattle Times. Ostrom looks at the increase in the number of biotech specialty drugs that aren’t covered by traditional insurance co-pay plans. Instead, patients must pay a percentage of drug costs — which in some cases, can be financially devastating. Gary Claxton of the Kaiser Family Foundation tells Ostrom that such changes in insurance plans are threatening to defeat the purpose of health insurance in the first place. Says Claxton: The idea of prescription drug insurance is to protect people from catastrophic costs … At some point, people aren’t going to consider themselves insured if they’re at risk for a…

22 Jul: Medicare Part D nightmares, continued

  We all know — or should know — by now that the Medicare prescription drug benefit (Medicare Part D) was crafted with the needs and convenience of Big Pharma, rather than patients, in mind. That’s why it’s so unwieldy for the consumer. The worst part about Medicare Part D is the so-called “doughnut hole,” described by the Wall Street Journal as “the notorious gap in coverage … where (beneficiaries) generally must begin paying the full cost of their medicines. The doughnut hole kicks in when total drug expenditures by the beneficiary and the plan reach $2,510.” Another egregious element of Medicare Part D, which has gotten less attention, is private “pharmacy benefit managers” charging Medicare beneficiaries MORE for prescription…

02 Jul: Will we have to hit bottom before we reform our healthcare system?

Drug addicts talk about having to “hit bottom” before they finally realize they have to do something about their problem. Are we about to see the U.S. healthcare system hit bottom? Today, UnitedHealth Group, the nation’s largest health insurer, cut its earnings forecast and said it would slash 4,000 jobs. Bloomberg reports: In the Medicare business for the elderly, for which UnitedHealth is the market leader, gross margins declined in plans that provide prescription drugs and specialized coverage for people with chronic diseases, the company said. The company forecast that its overall medical loss ratio, the percentage of premium revenue spent on medical care, would increase to 82.5 percent for the full year, up from its earlier prediction of 81.3…

14 Jun: 72 million Americans now either uninsured or underinsured

Think Progress reports that a new study from the Commonwealth Fund shows that the number of Americans forced to pay high medical expenses has grown dramatically since 2003: The report found that 25 million working-age Americans were underinsured last year, up 16 percent from 2003. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, family premiums have jumped 78 percent since 2001, while wages have only risen 19 percent, barely keeping pace with inflation. Add that 25 million underinsured to the approximately 47 million Americans with no health insurance at all, and we now have about 72 million who are struggling — and often one calamity away from losing everything. When people are underinsured, high-priced prescription drugs are typically something that are out…

16 May: Just how insured ARE you? Prescription drug co-pays are on the rise

Jo Hartley reports: “Health insurance companies are currently revising their pricing systems for very expensive drugs and they are now requiring patients to pay hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars for prescriptions for drugs that may save their lives or slow the progress of serious diseases. “With the new pricing system, insurers have now abandoned the traditional arrangement in which patients pay a fixed amount for a prescription regardless of what the drug’s actual cost. Instead, now they are charging patients a percentage of the cost of certain high-priced drugs. This percentage is usually 20 to 33 percent and obviously this can amount to thousands of dollars a month for some patients.” Hartley continues: “It is not known how many…

01 Feb: In healthcare, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

This ad was used in 1994 to kill Hillary Clinton’s universal healthcare plan through scare tactics and misinformation: As Ezra Klein points out, Obama is taking a similar approach in bashing Hillary’s much watered-down plan of 2007 — just from the other direction: The only thing that’s changed in healthcare politics over the past 13 years, it seems, is that our ambitions have become smaller. The demagoguery that prevents us from solving real problems continues unabated.

14 Jan: What sort of health insurance do the presidential candidates have?

Interestingly, some of the candidates are surprisingly secretive about this — which is pretty sad considering it’s the top domestic issue of the campaign. Daily Kos wonders if one reason Giuliani and McCain don’t want to talk about it is that, as cancer survivors, they might not be able to get individual coverage under the healthcare plans they propose.

07 Jan: Doesn’t EVERYONE deserve CheneyCare?

What a great ad campaign by the California Nurses Association and the National Nurses Organizing Commitee, highlighting the need for universal healthcare by focusing on the benefits Vice President Dick Cheney has received from the government. My favorite line: “If he were anyone else, he’d probably be dead by now.” Check out this Web site and some background on the groups’ latest ads here.

05 Jan: Nice anti-pharma rant by a Ron Paul supporter

As a Ron Paul supporter named Vicki rants in his nicely done video: Big Pharma’s profit margins are the highest of any industry, beating even the widely perceived thievery of the commercial banks. Big Pharma spends more on lobbying politicians and regulatory bodies than any other industry. The Medicare Part D plan will hand over $800 billion of our tax dollars to the drug and health insurance industry over the next ten years. The elderly could end up paying more for their prescription drugs than they did before under Part D — and a majority of senior citizens could still pay over $2000 a year. Fully a third of the world’s people cannot afford essential drugs. None of these facts…

05 Jan: Glenn Beck “sees the light” about dysfunctional U.S. healthcare system

CNN pundit Glenn Beck made this video from his bed at home to shed light on what he now believes is wrong with the U.S. healthcare system — inspired, he claims, by the fact that he was mistreated. Unfortunately, what the video really reveals is not what’s wrong with healthcare (that should be obvious), but what’s wrong with U.S. “journalism” today — namely, putting egomaniacal, uninformed pundits like Beck on the air in the first place. It’s clear that the only reason he’s upset is that HE got poor care; as he says in the video, “it’s jarring to me to be a successful guy” and be put in this position. We feel so sorry for you…really. Actually, we feel…

01 Oct: Insurance companies dropping prescription drug coverage

Elaine Moore writes, With the increasing costs of specialized drugs, some insurance companies are refusing to pay for drugs prescribed for off-label conditions … Health policy analysts caution that the benefits off-label drugs offer in conditions for which other drugs have failed will be seriously compromised by these new insurance regulations. Furthermore, off-label drugs such as naltrexone, which is relatively inexpensive at less than $100 per month, would be put in the same (unapproved for payment) category as Genetech’s Avastin (bevacizumab), which typically costs $4,400 per month. Avastin is approved for lung and colorectal cancers, but not for brain tumors because of limited evidence validating efficacy despite promising results in patients.

12 Sep: Pharmaceutical Marketing Online: Stuck in Web 1.5

Check out the new report by eMarketer. Says analyst Lisa Phillips: Consumers are all over the Internet looking for health information, typically visiting two or three health sites when they go online … They find more information from search engines than television ads, and they trust the Internet more than friends and family for information on prescription drugs. Unfortunately, they generally don’t trust the pharmaceutical industry.

07 Dec: Medicare should be able to bargain with Big Pharma; it works for V.A.

Ezra Klein has a great post explaining why drugs purchased through the Veterans Administration are cheaper than those purchased by Medicare patients. He concludes with these eye-opening facts: in 2003, The New England Journal of Medicine found the “socialized” VA better on all 11 metrics of care than fee-for-service Medicare …The National Committee for Quality Assurance, the gold-standard, found the VA the best health system in the country, beating out such star performers as John Hopkins and the Mayo Clinic. And an astounding 81% of Vets approve of their care, higher than Medicare, Medicaid, or the private sector. A commenter on Klein’s post adds: Better prices based on guarantee of patients is the current basis for every private health insurance…