Healthcare and the Cost of Cosmetic Surgeries

In 2012 14.6 million Americans had some type of surgical cosmetic procedure done. Currently there is a debate going on over the question of whether your health care insurance should cover the costs of cosmetic surgeries. At the moment most insurance companies do not cover this type of cost.

Let’s take a look at the number of cosmetic surgeries that have been undertaken in the last couple of years.

There were 286,000 breast augmentations preformed, while this number is high, it is actually down about 7 percent.  Liposuction and nose reshaping are other popular procedures along with eyelid surgeries and facelifts.

So how do insurance companies determine if they will cover the cost of your cosmetic surgery? Each insurance company determines this slightly differently but they do adhere to certain guidelines.

These guidelines includes determining whether or not the cosmetic procedure is reconstructive or purely cosmetic?  The majority of insurance companies follow the American Medical Association and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Their policy states the following:

Reconstructive surgery refers to surgery that is performed on abnormal structures which have been caused by; congenital defects, abnormalities in development, trauma, infection, tumors or disease.

Cosmetic surgery refers to the reshaping of normal structures to purely improve self-esteem and appearance of the person.

What this means is that some people may find that they are covered for certain cosmetic procedures. Say for example that you have really large breasts, which are causing you major back or neck pain – this could now be covered.

If you require eyelid surgery because your droopy eyelids are impairing your vision, you may find this cost covered.

Currently all of this is still left up to the discretion of each individual health insurance company. A good example of a cost that was once covered and now isn’t is the circumcision of infant boys. Most companies consider this to be a cosmetic procedure and do not cover it anymore.

If you are planning on getting coverage for a particular procedure you may want to check out several insurance companies first. Your choice of which provider to go with could depend upon what conditions you have and what they are most likely to cover.

Health insurance companies have something called a Summary of Benefits and Coverage. Ask for this document as it will list all the details on what you can expect to be covered for. Plus it states what is not covered. This is a really usually tool to use when comparing the different health insurance benefits that are available to you.

While there is talk about whether changes to cosmetic surgery should be made, there has been no definite plans in this area. Instead it is something which you want to keep your eye on. Especially if there is a cosmetic procedure you are thinking about having performed.


Going Home After Hospital Care

Experiencing a hospital stay is never a pleasant experience. However sometimes making the adjustment to life back at home is not always that easy. If you or someone you know is making this type of adjustment you can use these tips to lessen the impact of the move.

1. Always make certain that you understand all of the directions your doctor has given you. If not ask questions until you are clear.

2. Be sure to get a copy of any type of exercise or nutritional program that you are expected to follow.

3. Have a copy of any tests that were performed, especially if you were not under the care of your family doctor. This way your own doctor can follow up with you and know exactly what treatments you were given.

4. Ensure that you understand when and how to take any medications.

5. Have a list of emergency contacts and resources that you may require as you recuperate.

6. Have someone make sure that your home is equipped as necessary. Do you require any special devices or items to help you get around at home. Maybe you need your bedroom to be moved to a downstairs room.

7. Check that any additional expenses or items are covered by your health insurance plan.

8. On the day of your discharge arrange for a family member or friend to pick you up and take you home.

9. Will you need meals delivered to you or require help making your own meals or going grocery shopping? Set this in motion if necessary.

10. Don’t be hasty about going home too early. Heed your doctor’s advice so that you don’t have a relapse.

While no-one wants to spend any amount of time in a hospital sometimes it is necessary. Before going home it is important to ensure that you have everything you need on hand. This includes medications, dietary foods and any items such as a walking stick, crutches or easy to unlock doors and cupboards.

Have someone help you prepare everything before you leave the hospital. This will prevent any unnecessary and potentially hazardous trips to any local stores. Just because you are being discharged doesn’t mean that you are totally fit and healthy again. It is important to give yourself plenty of time to completely heal again.

The above tips we mentioned apply to many different circumstances. You may be an elderly person coming home after surgery. You might have just given birth or you may have undergone cosmetic surgery. No matter what your reason was use our tips so you can safely enjoy your return to your home.

Understanding the Differences Between the 4 Main Healthcare Plans

The higher plans will usually give you more coverage for your medical needs. This applies to after your deductible and any premiums and out of pocket maximums have been met.

Choosing a higher level plan will give you a lower deductible along with a lower copayment and coinsurance. For example a typical bronze plan will cover about 60% of your expenses. The silver plan covers around 70% with a gold plan covering 80% and a platinum 90%.

How to Select the Right Plan

To select the right plan you will need to look at your needs and those of your dependants. Some of the healthcare plans will have low deductibles attached to them. But what this means is that you will have a higher coinsurance and copayment to meet. Or you may wish to have a higher deductible which in turn will lower your other medical costs.

One way to select the right plan is to see how often you require medical care. If you constantly visit the doctor you best choice could be a gold or platinum plan. As this option will cover 80 to 90 percent of your medical costs. If you and your family are in good health then a bronze or silver plan may be your best solution.

When shopping for healthcare insurance also be advised that policies can be different depending upon which state you live in. There are however 4 main categories you should be aware of.

  1. Health maintenance organizations (HMOs)
  2. Preferred Provider organizations (PPOs)
  3. Point of service (POS)
  4. High deductible health plan with health savings accounts (HSAs)

These categories can offer restrictions of who you can choose to be your healthcare provider, another important issue. If you select a health maintenance organization your choices are limited by the insurance company. There are pros and cons to all of the categories so you do really need to take the time to research them all before making a decision.

Preferred Provider organizations are a popular choice for many families. They can offer more preventive and primary care and can help you manage your medical expenses in a better way. The Health Savings plans do as they say and help you get a health saving account which is a good option if you can come up with extra money to put into it. This will help cover any future expenses as they occur.

Take your time when choosing your healthcare insurance plan and ask as many questions as needed. You don’t want to make an expensive and costly mistake by not getting enough coverage.

Selecting the Right Healthcare Plan

It can be extremely difficult to select the right healthcare plan for you and your family. There are so many things to take into consideration the entire process can get really overwhelming.

First you need to consider things like finding a good physician or doctor, choosing the right healthcare centers with modern facilities and then evaluating your costs.

The majority of people only need healthcare a few times each year, but there are others that require medical attention more frequently. Of course everyone’s needs can change instantly, who hasn’t dealt with some type of unexpected health issue at some point or other?

For these reasons you need to have the foresight to look into your healthcare needs before actually needing them. The best way to manage this is to look for the correct type of health insurance coverage. Having healthcare insurance, while expensive, will usually be cheaper in the long run should you need medical care over the long term.

It isn’t always easy to figure out what the right health insurance plan is for you and your family. Your first step is to know that currently most insurance companies offer 4 different types of healthcare insurance.

These are classified as bronze, silver, gold and platinum plans. All of these plans meet the criteria for essential health benefits and will cover you for things such as:

  • Maternity care
  • Preventive care
  • Prescription drugs
  • Emergency services
  • Hospital stays
  • Treatment of chronic ailments
  • Physical and occupational therapies
  • Addiction treatments

So the next logical question is how do these plans differ from each other? They differ by certain features, we will discuss these below.

Premiums – this is the monthly payment you will have to meet whether or not you actually receive any healthcare. Your premiums will vary depending on whether or not you smoke, your age, where you live and how many people your insurance is covering.

Deductible – this is the amount that you have to pay out of your own pocket before the insurance company takes over.

Copayment – this is normally a fixed rate that you pay as you receive benefits or medical care. This amount will be different depending upon the type of care you are receiving.

Coinsurance – this refers to your share of your medical care expenses and is usually a fixed amount.

Out of Pocket Maximum – this will be the highest amount you will need to pay before your health insurance plan covers the rest of your bills. This amount is normally rated over a one year period.

You should now have a better understanding of what your healthcare insurance plans offer. Use this information to select the right plan for your needs.


Get Health Insurance Before You Get Sick

You may not think about getting health insurance when you are young, fit and healthy. But sometimes waiting too long before getting coverage is not a good thing.

Quite often when you are young and healthy your healthcare insurance premiums will be low. This means that as you age and need more insurance your premiums will not suddenly go through the roof. This can really help keep more of your dollars in your wallet, where they should be.

There are other reasons as well why you should have a regular doctor and insurance before you actually need it. This is to do with your actual diagnosis. If your doctor has a record of your medical history it will be easier for them to determine and diagnosis your illness. Your medical history is your track record of your health and by viewing it a doctor can see what changes occurred and when.

This can lead to being diagnosed correctly the first time around and not being pushed from specialist to specialist for months on end. Obviously if you do suddenly get sick a fast and accurate diagnosis is best. This way any possible life threatening issues can possibly be diverted. There are many illnesses that can be cured with fast and early treatment.

When you go to a doctor who doesn’t know you they may not always understand your symptoms correctly. This can lead to you not being treated correctly. Many illnesses today are sadly related to mental health issues. Again going to an unfamiliar doctor can result in them not believing everything that you tell them.

So while you may think that you don’t need healthcare at the moment, try to get some type of insurance in place. On top of that see if you can find a local doctor in your area. At the very least go for a physical checkup once a year. This is another great preventative step and can help ensure that you stay in good health for as long as possible.

Don’t forget that there are many silent diseases that can rear their ugly heads. When treated early your chances of surviving them can increase substantially.

Why not start today and begin looking into a health insurance plan and try to find a local family doctor. This way you will be more prepared both financially and physically if and when an illness does strike you.

Is Your Healthcare Insurance Adequate?

One of the biggest problems that many families run into is not having adequate healthcare insurance. It can be difficult to know exactly how much insurance coverage you should have, but it is often best to think that more is better than not enough.

You never know when somebody may suddenly get sick or injured. Life just loves to throw us curveballs and unexpected events and it is best to be prepared.

When selecting your healthcare coverage try to think of those unexpected things that could crop up. Do you have coverage for prescriptions, if required or for physiotherapy if a family member breaks a bone and requires therapy.

Then you also have to think about future requirements as you age. Will your current healthcare plan cover you for additional medical appointments, therapy and specialized care? Even though you may not need this extra coverage at the moment, ensure that you can add it on at a later date.

If you don’t have the required healthcare coverage you could suddenly find yourself with a huge and unexpected medical bill. This can cause all kinds of financial problems for you and your family.

One way to try and compensate for this is to just save additional money on the side for unexpected medical expenses. This might cover things like dental braces, physiotherapy and even things like glasses or contact lenses.

If you plan on saving weigh the pros and cons to this as opposed to opting for a higher healthcare insurance plan immediately. Try and evaluate which way would be best for your family. Of course this will also depend on how much you are able to save each month. If the amount is minimal choosing a better healthcare plan may be a better choice.

Other things that you may want to consider when it comes to healthcare insurance is your current lifestyle as well as your future plans. In this regard you may need to consider whether you are planning on starting a family in the near future, or if you wish to travel. Both circumstances may require additional insurance that you might not be covered for at the moment.

When choosing your healthcare plan it is very important to sit down and really think about your options. Taking the lowest plan may not always be the wisest move. Consider your current needs as well as future needs and then select accordingly.

Understanding the Basics of Healthcare Insurance

Trying to find the best healthcare insurance plan for you and your family is not always easy. There are many things to consider and you really don’t know what type of medical costs you are likely to incur in later years.

With the new changes to healthcare in the United States there are now 10 basic or essential benefits that every healthcare plan must cover.

  1. Emergency services
  2. Hospitalization
  3. Laboratory tests
  4. Maternity and newborn care
  5. Mental health and substance-abuse treatment
  6. Outpatient care
  7. Pediatric services including dental and vision care
  8. Prescription drugs
  9. Preventive services (such as immunizations and mammograms) and management of chronic diseases such as diabetes
  10. Rehabilitation services

There are currently two basic ways that you can pay for your health insurance plan. You pay a monthly premium when you sign up for your new plan. Then you pay a certain percentage or share of the expenses you incur, these are referred to as out of pocket expenses. In addition there are some combinations of this basic idea, depending upon the insurance company.

One thing to remember is that if you pay a higher monthly premium, your out of pocket expenses will be less. Some State’s also have subsidies that you may qualify for. When it comes to subsides there are standardized plans that can be used to help you compare the different plans.

A Bronze plan covers approximately 60% of the member’s total health care costs so will have a lower premium. Silver plans cover around 70% and Gold plans cover 80%. The highest coverage is the Platinum plan with 90% coverage. But this will also have the highest monthly premium.

Knowing which plan to choose will depend upon your current health status and your income level. If you have an existing medical condition then a higher premium plan may be your best choice.

If you are currently in good health then choosing a lower premium plan may be the best alternative for you. Remember if you choose this option if you do become sick you will then have to pay out more money.

Not sure what your out of pocket expenses will be? This can be confusing for lots of people, and could be a huge cost if you are not prepared. When most health insurance plans talk about out of pocket expenses they are talking about the parts of your medical bills that you will have to cover. This does not include your monthly premiums.

Most plans have a deductible – this is the amount that you are responsible for first. If your deductible is $1,000 you must cover this amount first, then the insurance company would start paying.

Copay – this is where you pay a fixed fee for certain things and then the insurance covers the remainder.

Coinsurance – this is where you pay a certain percentage for certain costs such as an MRI and then the insurance pays the rest.

Out of pocket limit – once you hit this amount your healthcare plan will cover the rest of your bills. This normally only happens if you are in a serious accident or suddenly become seriously ill.

Always check all the details of each plan and check with your doctor that they are in fact registered with this company. If not your expenses may not be covered at all. Plus if you know you are looking for some specific coverage then ask about these costs, especially if they are concerning cosmetic surgeries.