Insurance and Benefits: What the Average Citizen Should Know

Insurance and Benefits: What the Average Citizen Should Know

It’s not enough that a person should have insurance, it is equally as important they know what type of coverage they are buying. Nitin Chhoda explains the difference of premium, deductible, and co-payments types of insurances.

insurance and benefits averageIf you want to save money on health insurance in the United States, first you have to understand just what it is you are responsible for paying when you need healthcare.

Insurance and benefits and physical therapy documentation can be incredibly confusing, partially because insurance companies use certain terms to describe what you will be paying.

If the average citizen was better educated about insurance and benefits, they can make better decisions about healthcare and insurance. Healthcare providers are also better off when patients understand their responsibilities and what is covered by their insurance benefits package.

Below are the commonly misunderstood terms that related to payments that patients must make as part of their healthcare insurance and benefits responsibility.

Premium

The premium for health insurance is the monthly, quarterly, or annual payment that the patient makes to the health insurance company. By continuously paying the premium, a patient remains insured. If the patient stops paying the premium, or pays the premium late, insurance and benefits can be withdrawn.

For employer insurance plans, often the employer pays the premiums for employees. This is not always the case, but even when the employer does pay, they tend to reduce the salary for the position based on the cost of adding another employee to their insurance plan.

Deductable

The deductable is usually referred to as a cash amount, and it is the cash amount that the patient is responsible for paying. Most plans for insurance and benefits will include a deductable, and as the deductable rises for a different plan, the monthly premiums go down.

For employer plans, you may not have a choice unless you are choosing between an HMO and a PPO. The word deductable is used in insurance and benefits as the amount of money you have to pay before you can start benefiting from your policy.

For example, if your deductable amount is $500, no matter what you go to the doctor for, the first $500 in bills are yours to pay. If you want to have a higher deductable, you can get a cheaper insurance and benefits plan. But you’ll be paying the amount before you can collect benefits.

insurance and benefits of patientsIf you rarely go to the doctor, a high deductable can save you money. If you need medical care suddenly and it will cost thousands of dollars, you only pay the deductable and the rest is covered by your insurance company.

Co-Payment

A co-payment, or co-pay, is also a cash amount. Some insurance and benefits plans are zero deductable plans and instead they require that you pay a percentage or flat fee for each visit to the doctor.

Even some plans with deductibles include co-pays for standard visits to the doctor for general check-ups.

Knowing the details of your insurance and benefits is different from understanding the insurance and benefits you are entitled to.

Most people who are healthy never even think about their co-pay or deductible until they need to go to the doctor and they find out that the amount is not yet billable to the insurance company. Often, this realization comes at great cost to the patient and the healthcare facility.

Insurance and Benefits and How They Relate To Good Health

Insurance and Benefits and How They Relate To Good Health

The future of healthcare and insurance is still uncertain.  Nitin Chhoda imparts how major changes are needed to be made in order to help policy holders maximize the use of their insurance policies.

insurance and benefitsWithout a good understanding of health insurance and benefits and physical therapy billing process, many patients make big mistakes that end up costing them money.

These are mistakes that also cost their healthcare providers time and money in the form of billing, rejected claims management, and late payment of fees.

Because so many people don’t understand that even with insurance and benefits they will still have to pay for some healthcare, the system can be very inefficient.

Some People Do Not Understand Their Insurance

But what about the cost to the health of people who have insurance and benefits but do not understand how the system works? Some people who do not understand will have certain healthcare procedures done without realizing that they will have to pay.

When they find out that they actually have a deductible of insurance and benefits which they are responsible for, they are shocked and disappointed to be suddenly in medical debt.

And even for patients who do understand the system, making these decisions is dangerous to health.

For a patient who has a problem with their skin and is wondering if they might have a melanoma, the correct and safe thing to do is go to the doctor right away. When skin cancer is caught early it is much easier and cheaper to treat and treatment is more likely to be effective without having to use paid insurance and benefits.

If a patient knows that they will have to pay up to a $3000 deductible, they may be nervous about going to the doctor for financial reasons. What good is an insurance and benefits plan if you still have to pay for medical care that you can’t afford?

What Patients Should Know Before Selecting Insurance and Benefits

insurance and benefits relationsThe best way to avoid a bad situation is to educate patients before they choose their insurance and benefits plan.

That way, patients can choose a plan with a deductible that they can afford and that makes sense for their health history.

Of course, for people working in the healthcare industry, it is usually too late by the time they see patients.

In many practices today, the induction process for new patients includes a somewhat sobering educational experience.

Rather than waiting until the billing process starts and services have already been provided, the reception staff or nurses will actually find out exactly what is covered by a patient’s insurance and benefits plan, and they will find out if the deductible has been reached yet.

Financial Future

This may take more time at the beginning, but in the long run it saves time and money for the practice. As a patient, if a practice wants to figure out how much financial responsibility you have, it is best to indulge them so you also know what you will be responsible for paying.

By working together, patients and medical practices can determine what the best course of medical treatment will be based on both the financial resources and insurance and benefits that the patient has.

Healthcare and Insurance and Its Future

Healthcare and Insurance and Its Future

The future of healthcare and insurance is still uncertain.  Nitin Chhoda imparts how major changes are needed to be made in order to help policy holders maximize the use of their insurance policies.

healthcare and insurance futureFor a long time, the healthcare and insurance industry has been entirely unregulated.

Insurance companies have been allowed to drop paying customers who suddenly become ill or injured, based on technicalities.

People who are diagnosed with cancer are often suddenly reviewed by their healthcare and insurance providers and if anything is outside the policy, even if it is unrelated to the diagnosis of cancer and has an effective physical therapy documentation, the insurance company will drop the patient, leaving them with the responsibility of paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for treatment.

Medical Care Is Unaffordable 

Most people in the United States cannot afford the high cost healthcare and insurance of medical care. The option for most patients in this situation is very bleak.

On the one hand they can forego treatment and die from the disease, but nobody expects a patient to make that choice. On the other hand, if they go forward with treatment they will be committing to financial debt that will most likely cause them to declare medical bankruptcy.

Not only does diagnosis with a serious disease like cancer put you in a bad financial position, it can also cause you to miss work and even lose your job. Treatment is often very uncomfortable and has side effects that make patients unable to do their work.

Just because someone is diagnosed with cancer, they should be condemned to medical debt, job loss, and potential financial ruin. Cancer is bad enough on its own.

Even if a healthcare and insurance company does not drop a patient, the policy may only cover up to a certain amount. Most insurance plans have a cap, and most caps are too low to actually cover the costs of treatment for a disease like cancer.

How Will This Situation Improve?

There are many potential improvements that can be made to the current system. In the government’s role to protect the people, laws are being introduced that restrict the way healthcare and insurance companies can drop patients without cause.

There are also provisions which restrict insurance companies from putting unfair caps on their insurance pay-outs for healthcare and insurance plans. We have seen that without legal protections for consumers, healthcare and insurance companies will go to great lengths to save money, at the cost of their policy holders.

The Reality of Healthcare and Insurance

healthcare and insurance outlookEven if someone pays their healthcare and insurance premiums for ten years, a health insurance company will not hesitate to find a loophole when the times comes to actually pay for some healthcare of their policy holder.

Some healthcare and insurance providers have simply changed the way they bill to adjust for people who need healthcare but don’t have insurance.

Or they do not assume they will collect any money from patients and increase prices so that the insurance company’s share of each bill is higher than it would have been otherwise.

These are desperate and unethical, if not completely illegal, ways to deal with the current situation. But the reality is that major changes will have to take place before healthcare and insurance become affordable for the average American.

Healthcare and Insurance Solutions in the United States

Healthcare and Insurance Solutions in the United States

Healthcare and insurance issues in the United States remain unsolved. However, Nitin Chhoda shares how the Affordable Care Act is planning to revise the provisions of insurance by changing the age limit of dependents, and amending the law when it comes to pre-existing conditions of a potential policy holder.

healtcare and insurance solutionsThere is no single, simple solution to the problems with physical therapy documentation of healthcare and insurance in the United States. In fact, the problems have become circular in a way that feels like a loop; nobody knows if there is a way out.

We have been traveling in a direction that is destructive and unhealthy for a long time, and turning around is not going to be easy.

However, there are plenty of healthcare and insurance systems in many other countries that do work. With some research and open-mindedness, the U.S. could start to invest in new strategies and at the same time the American people could get better healthcare and insurance, leading to better health overall.

There will not be a perfect solution anywhere else, because every country is different. But for the price that the U.S. government pays in tax breaks to the health care industry, a better solution could probably be designed.

The Near Future

In the near future, we may see some improvements if the Affordable Care Act is implemented well. Some provisions which have already become effective have ensured that 3.1 million young Americans have healthcare and insurance.

Previously, as soon as a child reached the age of 18, they were no longer eligible to remain on their parents’ healthcare and insurance policy. The Affordable Care Act changes that age to 26, so that students and young people looking for work can still be included in their parents’ plans.

Additionally, the Affordable Care Act has made it illegal for healthcare and insurance companies to institute lifetime limits on healthcare benefits. For parents with children who become ill with life threatening diseases, the lifetime limit was like a death sentence.

Insurance Limit

If at the age of 7 a child is no longer insurable because they have reached a lifetime limit, the parents must somehow pay for healthcare and insurance on their own, which is impossible for the majority of Americans.healthcare and insurance solution

And finally, one more perk about the Affordable Care Act is that insurance companies can no longer reject a potential policy holder because they have a pre-existing condition.

In the past, if someone lost their job and subsequently their healthcare and insurance, any pre-existing condition could be reason enough to reject an application for insurance.

If you have diabetes, a mental illness, or any other disease that will cost money to treat, no insurance company will provide insurance for you. But because of the new healthcare and insurance law, insurance companies can no longer deny people with pre-existing conditions.

The Bigger Picture

While these changes are exciting and potentially life-saving for the people who benefit from more protective laws, they are really only patches for a system that has not really been working.

The bigger picture shows that the price of healthcare and insurance in this country is unaffordable to the majority of Americans. The question that will need to be answered eventually is whether or not it is worth it for the people of the United States to be given high quality healthcare and insurance.

Medical EMR Solutions Give Clinicians More Power

Medical EMR Solutions Give Clinicians More Power

Clinicians who already use medical EMR know that this technology is helping them and their staff work more efficiently. Nitin Chhoda shares the many benefits that EMR can offer to your physical therapy practice, helping it succeed.

medical EMR solutionsThe ability of any clinician in any medical practice is limited by financial factors. If a practice doesn’t make a profit, or at least break even, nobody can continue to provide healthcare.

Because the prices of healthcare in the United States are so high, patients cannot afford to pay for their own healthcare.

The majority of U.S. citizens cannot afford to pay the average prices for healthcare. As a result, both patients and clinicians must rely on healthcare insurance companies.

Insurance companies provide a sense of financial safety to patients, and patients can better afford to make monthly payments towards healthcare than they can afford to pay a $20,000 hospital bill all at once.

About Medical EMR

For medical EMR clinicians and health care practice management, knowing that part of every bill will be covered by insurance provides some financial security, even in a market where the patients who need the services cannot pay for those services.

Medical EMR systems make everything about a healthcare provider practice run more smoothly and efficiently if implemented well. The upfront cost of a medical EMR may seem restrictive, but the benefits tend to outweigh those costs relatively quickly.

A medical EMR system can bring stability to a practice and can turn into a tool that clinicians use to better serve their patients.

Spending More Time on the Important Stuff

Most clinicians would spend a whole lot less time handling paperwork if they had the choice. The truth is that everyone who works in healthcare has to know how to fill out forms and make correct notes about their patients.

The same should be applied when it comes to medical EMR. This can even get in the way of how well a clinician can care for patients, especially in a busy practice where limited time is given for each appointment.

medical EMR cliniciansBefore and after each appointment, a clinician needs time to review the previous patient’s file as well as refresh their memory with information about the next patient’s medical history.

Medical EMR software makes doing these tasks faster and more intuitive. Rather than requiring that a staff member find a paper file and have it ready, the clinician can pull up the information on the computer in seconds, or even on a hand-held tablet computer.

Advanced Technology

Software is becoming more and more advanced, and not just because using computers is fun or flashy. Clinicians who use successful electronic medical records systems find that they are more efficient and can spend more time with patients when they use a medical EMR.

And of course, that staff member who used to pull files and return them to their place all day long can now spend time doing other, more important things.

Perhaps that staff member can now handle a more efficient and time-saving induction process, so that new patients’ health insurance information is more complete.

Medical EMR companies and billers benefit because they can reduce the number of rejections and denials. And patients can be better prepared for the costs that will come their way – allowing them to focus on their treatment plan.

Health Care for Patients with Modern Technology

Health Care for Patients with Modern Technology

Using modern technology for health care management such as EMR can help many patients foresee their medical expenses. Nitin Chhoda explains how medical EMR can determine the status of the patients’ insurance so that they can prepare and get ahead of their expenses.

health care technologyIn a system of health care practice management where insurance seems to be primarily concerned with the financial bottom line, patients often get caught in a bad place.

Patients are left to shoulder hefty bills because their insurance and benefits don’t cover what they expected them to cover.

Patients are often thrown into medical debt through no fault of their own, losing their jobs, sometimes their homes, and often their ability to get back out there and find work again is hampered or completely destroyed by their health care medical condition.

The Modern Technology

So how can modern technology help to make the patient experience less of a downward spiral? There may be nothing that a private practice health care can do to change the laws, so that insurance companies cannot drop patients for irrelevant technicalities.

However, for health care practice management professionals who want to continue to provide services and help people to get better, there are some ways that technology can improve the way things go for patients.

Preparation Rather Than Reaction

One problem that many patients run into is that they are unprepared for the amount of work it will take to recover, and they are unprepared for the amount of money they have to pay for their health care.

Even for patients with insurance, a serious injury or the diagnosis of a serious medical condition or disease can spell financial ruin due to the high price of medical care in the United States.

As a result, patients are terrified that they will end up at the doctor’s office, hearing bad news. They begin to avoid regular check-ups, even without realizing that they are doing so. In fact, many people actually make their health care worse by avoiding their medical care.

Medical EMRs can make a practice more efficient from within, and for many patients, that becomes a benefit. If health care clinicians can access patient files more quickly, easily, and efficiently, they will spend more time learning about the patient and what they need.

If billers and other staff members have more time to figure out what the patient will owe after the insurance company pays their part, the stress of an unexpected bill will be lifted.

health care patients

Open Communication

Technology can help patients to prepare for what is going to happen as part of their health care treatment or recovery. This empowers them to make the right moves and take the right steps to getting better.

Additionally, with technological advances, it is possible for everyone within the practice to communicate faster and more clearly. If everyone in the health care practice is aware of the needs of patients, patient care improves.

When the staff is in better communication, they will also communicate more effectively with patients. And the more informed your patients are, the better they will understand their role in the process of healing and recovering.

There are ways for clinicians and staff members to make things easier for patients. Many technological options exist today that will help to empower patients and bring better efficiency to everyone involved in the health care of patients.