How to Get the Most Out of Florida Health Insurance Quotes

Are you in need of Florida health insurance for you or your family? You are, you may be required to buy your own health insurance, especially if you are self-employed or if your employer doesn’t have their own health insurance plan. When it comes to buying your own Florida health insurance, your goal should be quality coverage, but at an affordable price. To achieve your goal, you will need to need to rely heavily on Florida health insurance quotes.

Even if you have never bought Florida health insurance before, you likely already know what a Florida health insurance quote is, as insurance quotes are used for a number of insurance policies, including homeowners insurance or automobile insurance. Requesting a Florida heath insurance quote enables you to get an idea as to how much you would have to pay for insurance coverage. You are given an estimated cost of insurance by answering a few simple questions about yourself and your current health, as well as any previous health conditions.

One of the many reasons why you and all other Florida health insurance seekers are urged to request Florida health insurance quotes is because they are easy to get, not to mention free. With the internet, you could request multiple health insurance quotes in no time at all. In fact, you are urged to request more than one Florida health insurance quote. Multiple Florida health insurance quotes makes it easier for you to find adequate insurance coverage, but at the cheapest price.

As it was previously mentioned, the internet allows you to request multiple health insurance quotes in what may seem like no time at all. There are two ways that you can do this. One way involves finding the online websites of Florida health insurance companies. You can easily find these websites by performing a standard internet search. Once at the online website of a Florida health insurance company, you should be able to request a free Florida health insurance quote. You may receive a response in as little as a few minutes. As a reminder, the more quotes you request, the more insurance plans you will have to compare.

Although visiting the online websites of multiple Florida health insurance companies and requesting a free Florida health insurance quote from each is a great way to get quotes, there is an easier way. That way involves using online websites that aim to connect insurance seekers, like you, with quality and affordable health insurance. What is nice about these Florida health insurance quote websites, as they are often referred to, is that you don’t have to fill out multiple Florida health insurance quote forms. Most of these websites only require you to fill out one form and then they distribute them to reputable Florida health insurance companies. Not only will this eliminate most of the work that you have to do, but it is also quick and easy.

As outlined above, there are a couple of different ways that you can go about getting a Florida health insurance quote or even a number of them. Thanks to the internet and Florida health insurance quote websites, you can be on your way to having affordable health insurance in no time at all.

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Health Insurance – General Information on Health Insurance

Health insurance is a big investment and you should carefully consider all of the options before making a decision. Little success can be achieved if you are physically unwell. Therefore, health insurance may be important to you.

Health Insurance Policy

Health is the biggest and most crucial asset of every living being. A health insurance policy is meant to financially assist you in case there occurs a setback to your health.

The insurer may be a private organization or a government agency. In a health policy, coinsurance refers to the percentage of the medical bills that the insured individual will have to pay after the deductible is met.

There are different types of health insurance but mainly all the health insurance pays a fixed percentage of the expenses for the policy holders bill.

Group Health Insurance

Group Health Insurance is a benefit that some companies offer their employees enabling them to receive private medical treatment quickly and at no cost should they need it. As an employee benefit, group health insurance has many rewards.

Labor and trade unions also may offer group health insurance for their members. Spouses and children can often be added to most employee health plans, though the rate will be higher.

Individual Health Insurance

Individual insurance policies are distinct from group policies in the nature of evidence of insurability. You can purchase a policy by answering a health questionnaire and undergoing a medical examination to provide evidence of insurability to the insurance company.

Individual policies can be customized for your specific needs.

Family Health Insurance

Health insurance companies offer health insurance plans as a vital part of your full planning picture. Without it your safety and the safety of your family is jeopardized.

Most qualified heath care providers will not treat you without health insurance. I think you will sleep a lot better knowing that if something happens you or your family will be protected.

Health Insurance Cover

Health Insurance is an annual contract. So when it comes to renewal, your insurer is at liberty to review not only your premium but also change the conditions on which your cover is provided.

Health Insurance Quotes

Purchasing an insurance policy should take time and a little research in order to arrive at a wise buying decision. Individual health insurance quotes are available from various health insurance companies.

When you shop around for a health insurance plan, health insurance quotes can help narrow down your options and identify the best plan that fits your medical requirements and budget. This may help you to make informed decisions about the exact kind of health insurance plans into which you want to enter.

The best way to find the right insurance quote is with the help of a search engine. Some insurance companies and agents provide different kinds of quote options, such as the instant quote and the custom quote. The instant quote is the fastest kind of application, that provides general information about the eligible plans and their benefits.

Health Insurance Premium

The way for companies to calculate your monthly or yearly premium is to look at many factors. The premium is the amount you will pay for the benefits covered under your health insurance plan.

Health Insurance and Emergencies

It’s easy to ignore family health insurance until a family member falls ill and hospital bills and medical expenses pile up. An emergency can occur at any time.

Health Insurance and the Hospital

If you are self-employed, look for a company that offers an extensive health insurance coverage, and at the same time would not make a big dent in your pocket. Remember that spending a day or two in the hospital can be very costly. You should make sure that you have ample coverage.

In the end, the major purpose of health insurance is to cover medical expenses and any lost income while you are not well and unable to function normally. That is why health insurance may be vitally important to you.

The Role of the “Health Insurance Broker”

A health insurance broker is just like any other type of broker; this one just happens to specialize in the field of health insurance. A broker is somewhat like a matchmaker. His responsibility is to match up those seeking health insurance with health insurance companies that most closely match that person or group’s needs.

Quality is better than quantity. It is of no use writing numerous pages of nonsense for the reader. Instead, it is better to write a short, and informative article on specific subjects like health insurance. People tend to enjoy it more.

Health insurance brokers are sought by those individuals who, for various reasons, do not belong to a group insurance policy. These individuals are often the self-employed, or those with pre-existing conditions. However, a health insurance broker will also work with the coordinators of group insurance benefits in much the same way he works with an individual. The broker is given a list of desired benefits, either by an individual or a group coordinator, and the broker shops around to find the best match. The health insurance broker then presents what he feels is the best plan based on the list of needs, and if the person or group benefits coordinator agrees, the broker usually works to get a contract signed by both parties.

Who Does the Health Insurance Broker Work For?

It’s important to understand that a health insurance broker does not work for a health insurance company. Instead, a broker makes it his business to know all about the different health insurance companies in the area including their reputations, their frequency of rate increases, and even such things as the way they treat policy holders who submit a lot of medical claims. But even though the health insurance broker is different from a health insurance company, it often does happen that a broker is given an incentive (usually a financial incentive) to recommend one health insurance company over another.

There has been a gradual introduction to the world of health insurance projected in this article. We had done this so that the actual meaning of the article will sink within you.

Nothing abusive about health insurance have been intentionally added here. Whatever it is that we have added, is all informative and productive to you.

Will it Cost More to Use a Broker?

We have not actually resorted to roundabout means of getting our message on health insurance through to you. All the matter here is genuine and to the point.

Does the cost of health insurance differ if it is secured by a broker? That’s difficult to answer in general terms. A health insurance broker might be able to get an individual included in a group plan that is offered by the state or a trade union or organization and in such a case, an applicant might find the rates are lower and the coverage better than if he had attempted directly applying via a health insurance company. Most health insurance brokers work on commission and only make money when they’ve matched up insurer and insured. That means that one party or the other (and in some cases, both parties) typically is responsible for paying the broker’s fee.

Because the rates and the rules regarding health insurance are continually changing, health insurance brokers are few and far between. Most states do have licensing requirements that brokers must meet before they’re allowed to work as a health insurance broker. And because these requirements are issued at the state level, they differ from state to state. But if you find yourself lost in the tangled web of health insurance red tape, consider working with a health insurance broker. That person might just turn out to be your best ally.

Georgia Health Insurance

Georgia health insurance offers medical benefits that cover the cost of treatment incurred in a hospital. The coverage provided is comprehensive which includes doctor visits, hospital stays, emergency, prescription, dental care, and mental health care. It serves families, students, kids, employees, workers, self employed, small and large businesses, and retirees.

For the citizens of Georgia, a wide variety of health insurance plans are available to choose from. Each one varies significantly based on the size of deductible and the benefits covered. Individual health insurance, family health insurance, group health insurance, student health insurance, affordable health insurance, health insurance for children only, and temporary health insurance are some of the insurance plans available in Georgia.

In Georgia, health insurance laws and regulations regarding individual health insurance is different from other US states. The law allows insurers to deny the request for individual health insurance based on pre-existing medical condition and current health conditions.

The state of Georgia has moderate insurance regulation which protects both insurance consumers as well as the insurance company. According to “guaranteed renewability provision”, a health insurance policy regulation, an insurance owner is allowed to renew a policy without considering his/her health status.

In Georgia there is no limit on the premiums that the companies can charge for a health plan. Also, the law restricts that an insurer cannot cancel one?s insurance policy based on their health condition or age. In certain states, children of unemployed parents are denied from getting health insurance policy. Through a plan called Peach Care, Georgia State provides opportunity for such children to be insured.

Before purchasing health insurance, it is necessary to compare the different health insurance quotes. An insurance agent or an insurance broker is the right person to help you in finding a health insurance policy that best suits your requirement. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, Kaiser Permanente, Assurant Health, Celtic Insurance Company, Time Insurance Company, and United Healthcare of Georgia are some of the leading companies that provide excellent health insurance coverage for the citizens of Georgia.

Health Insurance Facts to Know

How can health insurance help you out? Being an investment, it is imperative that people prioritize this expense along with many other financial responsibilities. Health insurance coverage should be there to support you and your family in times when you need immediate health care. Think of it as a nest egg where you can get funds from to pay for the various costs of medical treatment, hospitalization, medication, and more.

There are various types of health insurance plans that you can obtain, and there is an equally innumerable number of firms that offer such services. It can be a little challenging to choose one that is right for your budget, as well as tailor made to suit your health needs. Note that you don’t have to spend a fortune to be able to get insurance coverage. There are ways by which you can earn discounts and save, while at the same time receiving quality and reliable services from your insurance provider. All it takes is the right knowledge to be able to evaluate your health insurance priorities and lock down your choice of provider.

In line with this, this article presents some interesting statistics that you might want to keep in mind regarding health insurance plans in the United States. Knowing these important notes will help you make a wise decision with regards to choosing a plan for you and your family. Mentioned here is also vital news regarding the direction that the health insurance system in the US is headed.

How many people in the United States are without health insurance? Regardless of how important it is to be covered, there is a significant percentage of the population who has no resources to obtain their needed health policies. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports, about 45 million people in the US have no health insurance. And that translates to roughly 15 percent of the population. The Hispanics have the most number of uninsured children and adults, which is about 32 percent of the total Hispanic population. On the other hand, 19 percent of the total African American population does not have health insurance, and around 10 percent of all whites are uninsured as well.

If you are interested to know, there are specific states that contribute the most to the uninsured adult statistics in the country. If nearly 20 percent of Americans aged 19 to 64 have no form of health insurance, which states significantly add to that number? To be more precise, Texas and New Mexico have almost a third of the total aged 19 to 64 population uninsured. On the other end of the spectrum, Massachusetts has the least number of uninsured adults in that age group, with only about 10 percent accounted by the Kaiser Health Foundation statistics.

How many children in the US are without any form of health insurance? This age group is considered as the minor group, comprised of children aged 18 and below. The CDC stated in a 2007 report that about 10 percent of the total minor population does not have health insurance. That means that there are 7 million children out there who may not be able to get afforded medical treatment. Which states have the most number of uninsured children? The Kaiser Health Foundation accounts that Texas ranks at the top of the list, with about 22 percent of the ages 0 to 18 population having no health insurance. Massachusetts is still the state with the least number of uninsured children, with only about 5 percent having no coverage.

In terms of the performance of insurance companies in the country, which are the ones that write the most number of health policies? As of the year 2007, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners reports ten of the largest insurance firms in the US, with respect to their market shares. Topping that list with approximately 12 percent of the market share is the UnitedHealth Group. Second is WellPoint, Inc, having almost 10 percent of the market share. The third largest with 7.7 percent market share is the Kaiser Family Foundation. Blue Cross, which is among the oldest health insurance providers in the country, ranks ninth, with a market share of 1.7 percent.

On a final note, what does the American government intend to do in response to the ever growing health insurance needs of the country? Among the highest priorities of the new Obama administration is to focus on revamping and further developing the health insurance system in the US. About $150 billion is expected to be allotted for provision of more accessible and more affordable health insurance options for the population. In line with the recession which led to the loss of over 7 million jobs, $25 billion will be used to cover for nearly 65 percent of health insurance premiums for these employees.

To be able to answer to the health needs of children, it is expected that 5 million kids will be granted health insurance, as $87 billion will be for funding state health insurance programs, including the SCHIP or State Children’s Health Insurance, which assists minors from low income families as well. The rest of the funding will be for modernization of medical facilities, including access to records, as well as research for diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and heart conditions.

Where Can You Get Affordable Health Insurance?

What is health Insurance

The main reason why you need an affordable health insurance is to help you plan ahead in case of unexpected costly emergencies. The only way you can accomplish this is to compare prices from most leading insurance companies and also choosing a health insurance plan that best suits you. Back in the days, getting a cheap health insurance plan was simply unaffordable. But these days, individuals, small groups, families and students can choose a health insurance plan that is best for them, e.g. like acquiring a help insurance plan that ensures that an individual suffering from any previous medical condition is not excluded.

Private health insurance plan is totally an unrestricted open market, so those who do not yet have a health insurance plan should consider taking out a plan. For those who are seeking good medical health insurance program, having one is possible through the help of specific companies which specializes in providing health care insurance for individuals and also meeting their requirements and also staying within your budget.

Also for individuals who do not want to use a company, then they can use the internet. One major way Americans get health insurance coverage is mostly through their employers. Many employers them receive health insurance coverage for their workers for a limited time thus enabling them receive health insurance coverage. The internet provides an option for a cheaper health insurance. There are lots of companies that provide all types of health insurance plans, making it possible for you and your family to have a specific reasonable and affordable health care insurance plan. Finding out what kind of reputation the company has and how long the company has been in business is a smart idea.

Having a kind of ideal they have for you is advisable also making sure they have been licensed in your state, because it is of no use getting an insurance with a form which has no license and cant get the exact health insurance you want, many agents will help work hard for you, so you could have an affordable health insurance plan which you and your family could live with without great cost. Everyone wants the best health insurance both for themselves and for their families, but only the best health care insurance can do this with low premiums and full coverage.

What are the advantages of health insurance?

Having the right and the best health care insurance is difficult. In order not to get confused, one needs to decide which the best is by doing his or her research thoroughly. The first step to take includes checking out the credentials and also their past performances of the very company you are considering. Just as on insurance outfits does a background check of individuals before accepting proposals, one should also review the financial status including the customer care services of the insurer, by so doing; you stand the chance to know which health insurance company’s best for you. One major way for you to get ratings of these agencies such as A.M best or Moody’s is by using the better business bureau. Many employers use the health insurance scheme to either attract or even retain their quality employers. The health insurance coverage might be a personal scheme or a group scheme organized and sponsored by the employers for employers who work between 20-29 hours per week.

Companies also do not add cost of fringe benefits alongside health insurance, to the price of their product and service. Over the past decades, the cost of health insurance has increased tremendously, surpassing the general rate of inflation in most past years.

The different types of health insurance includes individual health insurance, affordable employee health insurance which is also known as group health insurance, affordable family health insurance, affordable business health insurance etc, your monthly insurance is determined by certain numerous different things. For instance, most premiums based on or according to your age. So your health insurance rates changes accordingly with the type of health policy you have. If your health insurance is basically for yourselves or your entire family, the procedures must surely have an impact on any quote you are young or advanced in age, self employed receiving health insurance companies will adjust your premium based upon your age and this will also affect the cost of your health insurance.

What are the Disadvantages of health insurance?

Since unforeseen occurrences may occur any time, one will never know when an accident is likely to happen, be it the need to be admitted in the hospital for stitches or a broken bone, you may be in the position to receive help quickly without the worry of receiving a huge bill, unlike when you don’t have a health insurance your credit rating beers all the cost. But you can prevent all this problems from happening and also protecting your credits for your future health financially. Increasing the amount of your health insurance deduction is another way in which you can help make sure your insurance rates are lowered. This higher monthly premium is necessary for anyone who has an existing health problem that requires an extensive medical treatment getting variety of quotes from insurance companies which meets for your health and budgets standards, is a wise decision when selection an health insurance. Searching can be done online and this will have saved you money as well.

Many people feel that they are healthy enough, so they don’t need health insurance because they have never had any major medical problems but one thing to note against the possible health insurance is the protection against the possible health problem that may happen in future. It might happen to you in particular or any member of your family, so why not plan on having an affordable health insurance plan today.

Group Health Insurance Plan For Your Business

What is the cover offered on group health Insurance policy?

Group health Insurance plans can be defined as an insurance coverage through an employer or other entity that covers all individuals in the group.

Group health insurance is something that everyone wishes they had since groups get better rates than individuals when it comes to health care (insurance in general). Many people who are self employed or want the best rates incorporate to give the insurance company the look of a larger corporation and they try to obtain cheaper health insurance rates. Group insurance is discounted when compared to individual health insurance so getting on a group plan is a plus. Keep in mind that group insurance is just part of the equation. Deductibles, co pays, and other variables go into the rate you get, so individual health insurance or family health insurance may be just as affordable in the long run.

A group health Insurance policy is an Insurance cover which is arranged by an employer for his employees. This type of Insurance cover enables the employer to pay only part of the premium for the Insurance policy covering his employees.

Essentially Group health Insurance plan is an Insurance policy applied for by the employer to cover his employee’s medical expenses. Formerly an employer was expected to 100% employee benefits but now an employer only has to contribute just a part of the employee’s insurance premium.

With the new law passed by Congress, the employee’s net expenses for the group health insurance policy have been greatly reduced.

How can businesses benefit from this policy?

It is a well known truth that group health insurance plans are greatly valued by employees, most employees even place group health insurance policy second after monetary compensation. Organizations who have in place such policies have confirmed that group health insurance policies have enabled them employ and retain the best hands in their business. Employers are not left out from enjoying the benefits of group health insurance plans; most employers have not yet purchased health for themselves. They stand to get a better and cheaper insurance plan if they purchase Insurance via a company than if they were to purchase an individual health insurance policy.

A group medical insurance policy offers an additional special bonanza in the form of tax incentives for the employer and employees. For instance, as an employer you stand in a position to reduce your payroll taxes, but providing your employees with group health Insurance as part of a whole payment compensation package, thereby deducting 100% of the premium that you would have had to pay on a qualifying group health insurance plan. Also your employees would be able to pay their part of their monthly premium using pre-tax funds.

Although an employer is required to pay some percentage of an employee’s individual premium, which ranges from 25% to 50%, depending on the state’s laws and the insurance company. Also, if the employee wants to extend coverage to a spouse or dependent, the employer may choose to pay a percentage of that cost, but is not required to do so. Without ant question group health insurance is the most affordable health insurance available today, so if as an employee you’re given that option, you should really consider it, Often, spouses and children can be included under such a plan.

What are the factors you need to watch for a good group health insurance policy?

Employers may choose to offer free-service insurance plans, preferred service supplier or a health maintenance plan. Available on the Internet are group health insurance instant quotes, most health insurance organizations also provide group health insurance quotes via their network of agents in addition of making it available for visitors to their offices.

One of the factors an organization need to watch out for in a group health insurance policy is the bottom line. It is no more or less than simply this: group health insurance is less expensive than a couple of individual policies. This is the truth. But, it still is not cheap, in fact no health care program in America is.

Employers may use the guidelines below to select a health insurance plan that meets your needs:

Study the websites and brochures of the health insurance companies you have short listed to engage.
Make a comparison of their services, costs and what they pay.
Find out if there are services or illnesses that are excluded from the policy.
Take notes of the starting and ending dates of the insurance policy.
Check to confirm when the cover starts as some health insurance companies only cover you from your third payment.
Stay away from policies that limit your choice as to whether you can choose a period to stay with them.
And finally stay away from any group health insurance policy that only covers limited diseases.
Employers are encouraged to choose Group health insurance plans that suits their needs, whether it is the preferred service supplier, traditional insurance cover or the health maintenance plan.

Auto Insurance Principles Should Apply to Health Insurance

Many Americans rely on their automobiles to get to work. No automobile means no job, no rent or mortgage money, no food. A single parent, struggling to make ends meet in the suburbs with 100,000 miles on the odometer, would presumably welcome the guaranteed opportunity for low-priced insurance that would take care of every possible repair on her auto until the day that it reaches 200,000 miles or falls apart, whichever comes first. Especially if the insurance is valid regardless of whether she even changes the oil in the interim.

So why aren’t the auto insurance companies writing such coverage, either directly or through used auto dealers? And given the importance of reliable transportation, why isn’t the public demanding such coverage? The answer is that both auto insurers and the public know that such insurance can’t be written for a premium the insured can afford, while still allowing the insurers to stay solvent and make a profit. As a society, we intuitively understand that the costs associated with taking care of every mechanical need of an old automobile, particularly in the absence of regular maintenance, aren’t insurable. Yet we don’t seem to have these same intuitions with respect to health insurance.

If we pull the emotions out of health insurance, which is admittedly hard to do even for this author, and look at health insurance from the economic perspective, there are several insights from auto insurance that can illuminate the design, risk selection, and rating of health insurance.

Auto insurance comes in two forms: the traditional insurance you buy from your agent or direct from an insurance company, and warranties that are purchased from auto manufacturers and dealers. Both are risk transfer and sharing devices and I’ll generically refer to both as insurance. Because auto third-party liability insurance has no equivalent in health insurance, for traditional auto insurance, I’ll examine only collision and comprehensive insurance — insurance covering the vehicle — and not third-party liability insurance.

Bumper to Bumper

The following are some commonly accepted principles from auto insurance:

* Bad maintenance voids certain insurance. If an automobile owner never changes the oil, the auto’s power train warranty is void. In fact, not only does the oil need to be changed, the change needs to be performed by a certified mechanic and documented. Collision insurance doesn’t cover cars purposefully driven over a cliff.

* The best insurance is offered for new models. Bumper-to-bumper warranties are offered only on new cars. As they roll off the assembly line, automobiles have a low and relatively consistent risk profile, satisfying the actuarial test for insurance pricing. Furthermore, auto manufacturers usually wrap at least some coverage into the price of the new auto in order to encourage an ongoing relationship with the owner.

* Limited insurance is offered for old model autos. Increasingly limited insurance is offered for old model autos. The bumper-to-bumper warranty expires, the power train warranty eventually expires, and the amount of collision and comprehensive insurance steadily decreases based on the market value of the auto.

* Certain older autos qualify for additional insurance. Certain older autos can qualify for additional coverage, either in terms of warranties for used autos or increased collision and comprehensive insurance for vintage autos. But such insurance is offered only after a careful inspection of the automobile itself.

* No insurance is offered for normal wear and tear. Wiper blades need replacement, brake pads wear out, and bumpers get dings. These aren’t insurable events. To the extent that a new car dealer will sometimes cover some of these costs, we intuitively understand that we’re “paying for it” in the cost of the automobile and that it’s “not really” insurance.

* Accidents are the only insurable event for the oldest automobiles. Accidents are generally insurable events even for the oldest autos; with few exceptions service work isn’t.

* Insurance doesn’t restore all vehicles to pre-accident condition. Auto insurance is limited. If the damage to the auto at any age exceeds the value of the auto, the insurer then pays only the value of the auto. With the exception of vintage autos, the value assigned to the auto goes down over time. So whereas accidents are insurable at any vehicle age, the amount of the accident insurance is increasingly limited.

* Insurance is priced to the risk. Insurance is priced based on the risk profile of both the automobile and the driver. The auto insurer carefully examines both when setting rates.

* We pay for our own insurance. And with few exceptions, automobile insurance isn’t tax deductible. As a result, the fear of increasing insurance rates due to traffic violations and/or accidents changes our driving behavior and we sometimes select our automobiles based on their insurability.

Each of the above principles is supported by solid actuarial theory. Although most Americans can’t describe the underlying actuarial theories, most everyone understands the above principles of auto insurance at the intuitive level. For sure, as indispensable automobiles are to our lifestyles, there is no loud national movement, accompanied by moral outrage, to change these principles.

Unsustainable Market

In contrast, similar principles are routinely violated in health insurance. To demonstrate this, let’s return to the same suburban mother from the opening paragraph. She’s busy working, driving to and from work, and driving her kids to school and activities. She ends each day exhausted, sitting on the couch with fast food. She’s obese, has a sedentary life, a bad diet, and hasn’t taken the time to go to the doctor in years. After a simple injury doesn’t heal for weeks, she turns up at the emergency room and learns she has type II diabetes. Although type II diabetes is controllable, changing diet and exercise habits and properly tracking her condition takes time and effort and she’s never quite successful in implementing the necessary lifestyle changes.

So the initial emergency room visit is only the first of a long list of health care related to non-controlled diabetes and other problems associated with obesity. Whether she has individual or group insurance, her insurance pays for each episode of care, without singling her out for a premium increase, and without charging her any more cost sharing than is charged to the healthiest and most medically diligent insureds. Her coverage continues until she voluntarily changes insurance companies and/or employers or becomes eligible for Medicare. If she’s covered under group insurance she may not even pay any premium. Her insurance continues unabated, even though the disease was caused by neglecting her body and she maintains her poor lifestyle even after the disease becomes known.

This just wouldn’t happen in auto insurance. This scenario is the auto insurance equivalent of guaranteed access to low-priced auto insurance that takes care of every possible repair, including damage already done, until the day the car falls apart so completely it’s unsalvageable (death) or reaches 200,000 miles (Medicare), regardless of whether she even changes the oil (takes care of herself) in the interim.

As a society, we don’t expect this in private-market auto insurance, but we expect it in private-market health insurance. Furthermore, there’s a chorus of national and state interests, which continuously pushes us further away from the auto insurance principles.

The current private health insurance market isn’t sustainable. Prices have been consistently increasing faster than inflation for decades. Each year, insureds use more health care than ever before and more people have no insurance at all. Most actuaries and other people in the private health insurance market don’t want national health insurance with its bureaucracy and one-size-fits-all benefits. Yet, we’re trying to sustain a private insurance system, which violates the very principles we know are necessary for private insurance markets.

Yes, health insurance involves the sacredness of human life and is therefore different from auto insurance. But if we’re to sustain a private-market solution to health insurance, actuaries need to explain to the larger society, in terms that society understands, the rationale for the following principles:

* As sacred as health care is, it’s still an economic transaction that has to be balanced by individuals and societies, against other economic choices. It can’t be unlimited. Sometimes it will be secondary to other choices. On a given day, for example, the mother in our scenario may value her car more than her health.

* Insurance premiums should be paid by the individual and tied to controllable risk factors. This will provide the best incentive for the control of risk factors.

* Although it’s hard to draw the line between abuse, neglect and ignorance, self-abuse shouldn’t be insured and we need to draw that line somewhere.

* The private market can’t provide unlimited, self-directed health insurance.

* Routine care and ongoing treatments of chronic conditions can be pre-funded, can even be subsidized, but they don’t constitute “insurable events.”

* Insurance can’t be expected to keep every human body in pristine condition. No amount of health care will prevent everyone’s ultimate death.

* Comprehensive, unlimited, non-subsidized private-market coverage isn’t possible for people with severely impaired health.

* The private health market can provide limited non-subsidized health insurance, such as protection from accidents, to even health-impaired individuals.

* Individuals who can afford to do so and who take good care of themselves should be able to “buy up” to better coverage. People have the option of buying up for everything else in life.

Discussion of these principles is lacking from most of the current health insurance debate. If society can intuitively understand how similar principles apply to health insurance, then they should be able understand the principles in the health insurance context. We need to initiate the debate.

This commentary is solely the opinion of its author. It does not express the official policy of the American Academy of Actuaries; nor does it necessarily reflect the opinions of the Academy’s individual officers, members, or staff

Florida Health Insurance Rate Hikes and Quotes

Florida Health Insurance Rate Hike

Florida Health insurance premiums have touched new heights! Every Floridian has the common knowledge that most annual health insurance contracts will endure a rate increase at the end of the year. This trend is not new and should be expected. Every time this issue pops up it seems as though the blame game starts. Floridians blame Health insurance companies; Health insurance companies blame Hospitals, Doctors and other medical care providers, Medical care providers blame inflation and politicians, well, we really don’t know what they do to help the issue… No one seems to be interested in finding the real cause of the health insurance premium rate increase. Most individuals, self employed, and small business owners have taken Florida Health Insurance Rate Hikes as the inevitable evil.

Hard Facts

What are various reports telling us? Why do Health insurance premium have annual rate increases?

Rate of inflation and heath insurance premium rate increase.

America’s health expenditure in the year 2004 has increased dramatically, it has increased more than three time the inflation rate. In this year the inflation rate was around 2.5% while the national health expenses were around 7.9%. The employer health insurance or group health insurance premium had increased approximately 7.8% in the year 2006, which is almost double the rate of inflation. In short, last year in 2006, the annual premiums of group health plan sponsored by an employer was around $4,250 for a single premium plan, while the average family premium was around $ 11,250 per year. This indicates that in the year 2006 the employer sponsored health insurance premium increased 7.7 percent. Taking the biggest hit were small businesses that had 0-24 employees. There health insurance premiums increased by nearly 10.4%

Employees are also not spared, in the year 2006 the employee also had to pay around $ 3,000 more in their contribution to employer’s sponsored health insurance plan in comparison to the previous year, 2005. Rate hikes have been in existence since the “Florida Health Insurance” plan started. In covering an entire family of four, a person will experience an increase in premium rate at every annual renewal. If they would have kept the record of their health insurance premium payments they will find that they are now paying around $ 1,100 more than they paid in the year 2000 for the same coverage and with the same company. The same item was found by the Health Research Educational Trust and the Kaiser Family Foundation in their survey report of the year 2000. They found out that the premiums of health insurance that is sponsored by the employer increases by around 4 times than the employee’s salary. This report also stated that since 2000 the contribution of employees in group health insurance sponsored by employer was increased by more than 143 percent.

One business man predicts that if nothing is done and the Health insurance premiums keep increasing that in the year 2008, the amount of health premium contribution to employer will surpass their profit. Professionals within and outside the field of Florida health insurance, think that the reason for increase in Florida health insurance premium rates are due to many factors, such as high administration expenditure, inflation, poor or bad management, increase in the cost of medical care, waste etc.

Florida health insurance rate hikes affect whom?

Rising rates of Florida health insurance generally affects most of the Floridians who live in our beautiful state. The highest affected individudals are the minimum wage and low wage workers. Recent drops in the renewal of health insurance are mostly from this low income group. They just can’t afford the high premiums of Florida health insurance. They are in the situation where they can not afford the medical care and they can not afford the medical insurance premiums that are assosiated with adequate coverage. Almost half of all Americans are of the opinion that they are more worried about the high health insurance rate and high cost of health care, over any other bill they have on a monthly basis. A survey also finds that around 42% of Americans can not afford the high cost of health care services. There is one very interesting study conducted by Harvard University researchers. They found out that 68% of people who filed bankruptcy covered themselves and their family by health insurance. Average out-of-pocket deductibles for people filed bankruptcy were around $ 12,000 per year. They also found some co-relation between medical expenditure and bankruptcy. A national survey also reports that main reason for people not to take health insurance is the high premium rate of health insurance.

How to reduce Florida’s high health insurance cost? Nobody knows for sure. There are different opinions and experts are not agreeing with each other. Health professionals believe that if we can raise the number of healthy people by improving the lifestyle and regular exercise, good diets etc. than naturally they will need less medical care services which decreases the demands of health care and hence the cost.( This year in Florida the smoking rate has increased by 21.7 percent) One Floridian sarcastically suggested that there are ‘highs’ and ‘lows’ in health care that are needed to reversed. That the state of Florida is to ‘high’ in cost of medical care compare to other States and ‘low’ in the quality of health care.

Florida Health insurance rate hike has attracted many frauds. These frauds float many bogus insurance companies and offer cheap health insurance rate which attract many people to them. These companies usually through assosiations that are based in other states.

Meanwhile reputable Florida health insurance companies provide different types of health insurance like employer sponsored group health insurance, small business health insurance, individual health insurance etc. to vast number of employees and their families. Still there are many people in Florida that lack any health coverage. Today the employer also has found it challenging to decide how to offer employer sponsored group health insurance to their employees, so that both of them arrive at some point of agreement.

Affordable Health Insurance Options in Ohio: An Interview With Ohio Department of Insurance Director

According to the United States Census Bureau, 87.7 percent of Ohioans had some form of health insurance coverage during 2005, while 12.3 percent were not insured at any time during the year. Additionally, 14 percent of Ohio residents under the age of sixty-five did not have health insurance during 2005.

AFFORDABLE HEALTH INSURANCE OPTIONS IN OHIO

Most Ohioans who have health insurance are covered by either employer based plans or government programs. What options are available for individuals who do not have access to such coverage? Ohio Department of Insurance Director, Ann Womer Benjamin, references the “increasing number of options with Health Savings Accounts. There may be a person, or a family, generally comfortable paying for health care costs, but wants a high deductible policy. Also, for fairly young, fairly healthy individuals, an HSA coupled with a High Deductible Health Plan could really work.”

Health Savings Accounts are not feasible for everyone. Ohio residents who are not interested in HSAs should try to take advantage of alternative plans and programs. “Ohio has an Open Enrollment Program that takes (uninsured individuals) regardless of pre-existing conditions, but is likely costly”, Womer Benjamin explains.

HEALTH CARE COVERAGE LEGISLATION

There are currently two bills in the Ohio Legislature, Senate Bill 272 and House Bill 5 / Senate Bill 5 that are generally supported by the Ohio Department of Insurance as methods of expanding access to health insurance coverage.

Senate Bill 272 would repeal the Open Enrollment Program, as well as the Open Enrollment Reinsurance Program. In its place, the Ohio Health Insurance Risk Pool would be created to provide health care coverage to individuals who are unable to obtain affordable health care coverage in any other manner. This would eliminate the annual periods of open enrollment that sickness and accident insurers, health insurance corporations, and multiple employer welfare arrangements (MEWAs) are currently required to hold. “The Ohio Health Insurance Risk Pool would provide a state fund for those without health insurance coverage. We would support this concept and have various suggestions for funding. We would theoretically be able to reach ten times more individuals than the Open Enrollment Program does currently”, says Womer Benjamin.

House Bill 5 / Senate Bill 5 would permit small employers to offer health care plans that do not provide benefits otherwise required by law. The bill provides for the operation of health savings accounts that are consistent with federal law, and places a limit on an insured’s liability for co-payments and deductibles under a health benefit plan. ODI Director Womer Benjamin asserts that the bill “would provide more options for small businesses, and we are hopeful that that will pass”.

THE MASSACHUSETTS EXAMPLE

On April 4, 2006, Massachusetts House Bill 4850 was overwhelmingly passed by the state legislature. All Massachusetts residents will be required to obtain health insurance coverage by July 1, 2007. The state’s plan dictates that businesses with more than ten employees that do not provide health insurance coverage will be charged a fee of as much as $295 a year for each employee. Government subsidies to private insurance plans will provide affordable health insurance to a greater number of the working poor, and individuals who can afford private health plans will be penalized on their state income taxes if they do not have coverage. Should Ohio consider a similar plan in order to achieve nearly universal health insurance coverage? Ohio Department of Insurance Director Ann Womer Benjamin says that we need to “watch Massachusetts and evaluate the plan’s success and funding”. “Ohio has a larger number of uninsured individuals and is different than Massachusetts, politically.”

Ohioans have a large selection of health insurance carriers and government programs to choose from. Regardless of the provider, it is extremely important for individuals to obtain a health insurance plan. Director Womer Benjamin emphasizes that she is “concerned with people who don’t think they need health insurance coverage”.

About The Ohio Department of Insurance

The Ohio Department of Insurance (ODI) is an informative resource for those seeking information regarding health insurance options in the state. ODI asserts that its mission is to be “responsive to and safeguard consumer interests through education and vigilance while promoting a stable and competitive marketplace among insurance providers”. The Ohio Department of Insurance can help uninsured persons sort through their options, depending on their individual circumstances. For more information, call the ODI Consumer Hotline at 1-800-686-1526.

The Department is headed by Director Ann Womer Benjamin, who was appointed in January of 2003, and is the first woman to hold this position. Prior to this appointment, Womer Benjamin served in the Ohio House of Representatives for eight years.