Just bring up the topic of healthcare and insurance in a crowd and you will have an immediate response. Every American was affected by the healthcare changes brought on by the Obama administration. People with low incomes and people who had illnesses that kept them from getting health insurance were better off. But the middle-class American felt the weight of a huge sucker-punch.
Those of us who already had good insurance through our jobs were told we would be able to keep our plans. But the reality was much different than the promises.
For most middle-class Americans our insurance costs doubled and sometimes tripled. Our out of pocket expense was so high that many people would near the end of the year before this high-costs insurance policy paid the first dime.
Patients with chronic illnesses could no longer afford to use the insurance that the government insisted they had to have or they would be fined.
A New Administration – Immediate Problems
The crippled middle-class hold on to hope as a new administration takes the lead. But, we are far from a solution.
2018 will be a year of change. Experts expect healthcare costs to continue to rise. The increases will vary by state, but some are expected to rise as much as 57% (in Georgia). Virtually all of the states will see an increase in price. And still, we wait and do everything in our power to be legally compliant and yet unable to afford medical care.
Below we will give you some tips for reducing healthcare costs. If you are receiving Medicare, you have already received notice that the coverage has increased in price for 2018. We urge you to do your own research. Seek out ways to reduce the expense to a manageable amount and protect yourself.
Medicare is a Federal Government insurance policy that is provided to all Americans that at 65 or older and people with disabilities and some specific illnesses. It has 4 parts.
- Part-A pays for hospital expenses if admitted.
- Part-B pays a percentage of the charges, for certain doctors and medical supplies that are needed.
- Part-C is also called Medicare Advantage. “You’re still a part of the Medicare program when you enroll in Part C. So you still get all the benefits of Part A hospital insurance and Part B medical insurance, known as Original Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans can also include extra benefits, such as dental care and Part D prescription drug coverage.” (source: https://www.healthmarkets.com/resources/medicare/what-is-medicare-part-c/)
This is the only saving grace in the healthcare industry right now. Citizens are able to shop around for the most affordable insurance company. This is a policy from an independent company that you can purchase with the dollars you pay for Medicare. Sometimes there are additional costs depending on the company and policy you choose. Part-D covers some (but not all) of your prescription drugs.
Make staying healthy your priority. Preventative doctor visits cost less and staying healthy is your goal. Eat right, exercise, and get your rest. If something seems off, get it looked at before it becomes a problem.
Take generic drugs. Your doctor gets a cash bonus from the pharmaceutical companies for prescribing their name-brand drugs. This gives them a pretty good reason to choose particular name-brand drugs over a generic drug, or even a different medication that will treat your problem. Tell him you want drugs that are generic and that are covered by Medicare.
Learn about your policy and know what is and is not covered. Take inventory of your circumstances. Consider your age, health problems, income, and care provider. Then shop insurance companies.
Let an insurance agent walk you through some different policies to determine the right one for you. Ask about programs where you can follow-up over the phone or computer for minor issues. It will save you hundreds of dollars.
Check bills for errors. Be diligent in checking every item on your medical bill whether from your doctor or hospital. Were you charged for a service you did not receive?
We are all hoping for changes in 2018 that will help the staggering public. Until then, we have to do our best with what we have.