Healthcare and the Family Budget – How to Get the Biggest Bang for Your Buck!

When considering the family budget and being a good parent, providing quality healthcare at a reasonable price is right up there with the mortgage payment, car payments and college tuition. Consumer driven healthcare is a movement in the United States. Consumer Driven Healthcare relies on a free-market approach to control costs through consumer choice, with employees assuming greater ownership for their healthcare decisions and related finances. Consumer driven healthcare is about changing employee behavior. Consumer driven healthcare is just talk and will fail unless we want to walk the walk. In simple words, the hope for consumer driven healthcare comes from the simple notion that putting responsibility for expenses and decisions back into the hands of the consumer will result in more rational utilization of resources. So while the healthcare debate heats up in Washington, across the state capitals, in corporate boardrooms, on the campaign trail and on TV, some of us folks are trying to make sense of “consumer driven healthcare”.

Consumer-Driven Healthcare also referred to as “CDH”, is a type of health plan that gives members more choice and flexibility in making health benefits decisions and more control over their health benefits dollars. Consumer-driven care will change the way your hospital does business. Consumers will increasingly take on the responsibility of managing their own health benefits, in many cases through individually held health savings accounts that will give them greater freedom to determine when and how they spend their healthcare dollars. Consumer-driven healthcare is defined as a system where consumers, not the employer or insurance provider, determine how and where to spend their healthcare dollars. However, consumer-driven healthcare (CDH) can result in savings and greater flexibility for consumers of all kinds. The merits of various types of consumer-driven programs are being hotly debated, but the reality is that CDHC simultaneously creates both a consumer “movement” as their financial responsibility and involvement in their care choices increase, and a consumer experience.

If healthcare were consumer-driven, “maintenance” prescriptions (medications you need over long periods of time) wouldn’t require complicated pre-authorization forms from your doctor, which are usually rejected the first time around. If healthcare were consumer-driven, basic allergy medications like Zyrtec wouldn’t be so hard to come by, and wouldn’t cost $25 a bottle out-of-pocket. If healthcare were consumer-driven, patients wouldn’t be forced to choose between complex HMO, PPO, and POS plan options that leave a loophole for various “medical groups” to decline responsibility for specific doctor’s office visits or treatments (sticking the befuddled patient with the full bill). “Consumers have choice in every area of their lives, except healthcare,” he stated. Nearly 85 percent of consumers responding to a new survey said that they believed hospitals and doctors should be required to disclose their prices.

Opponents argue that CDH is really just cost shifting from employers to employees and that rather than spending more responsibly, consumers in these types of plans will be more inclined to avoid necessary care.

Consider these options for maximizing your health care discounts: Ask your doctor’s office if they provide a discount for paying cash. Start today and put these easy steps into practice to become a champion of consumerism and proactive consumer of health care. A survey of more than 70 leading health care insurers (representing more than 100 million insured individuals) found that over the next 12 months health care costs are projected to increase by 10. However, consumer-driven healthcare (CDH) can result in savings and greater flexibility for consumers of all kinds. Learn how CDHC will change the way health care is financed and delivered. Understand how CDHC will affect health plans, healthcare providers and pharmaceutical companies.

Shop-Till-You-Drop the debate rages on about how to reform healthcare in America… Meanwhile, what can we do to become more successful consumers? We consumers may not be in the healthcare driver’s seat yet, but we can at least become more vocal back-seat drivers. ” The consumer experience combines the individual’s sense of empowerment, because he has direct input into decisions about his healthcare, with the knowledge and tools he needs to make those decisions.
In my opinion the ultimate goal of CDHC should be to put control of you health decisions back into the hands of the consumer and their healthcare provider of choice, (in other words you and your doctor) not into the hands of the insurance companies and the employer. To get the biggest bang from your buck look at getting a
1. Discount Health Plan,
2. Health Savings Account
3. High Deductible Health Plan

The Discount Health Plan saves you money on the day to day health care expenses. The Health Savings Plan is a savings account where you deposit money for future large medical or other expenses. The High Deductible Insurance Plan will kick in to cover the hospital expenses when something really serious happens such as heart attack, stroke, cancer etc. But and this is a big but, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYING THE DEDUCTIBLE and that could be up to $5 or $10 thousand dollars or more depending on your plan. This is why you will need the discount plan and the savings plan. If your cash flow is low and you have a really good Discount Health Plan which includes a Patient Advocacy program at no additional cost this is a good start. The Patient Advocacy program will negotiate with the hospital and GREATLY reduce or eliminate your hospital bill when you have one. You can find a really excellent plan for less then $60 a month for an entire household. When you can afford to add the other one or two do so if you desire. You may want to read my other article Healthcare and the Family Budget – What is a Health Savings Account and Do You Need It?

Article Source: ABC Article Directory

Linda Shute lives in New Jersey and works from home you can visit her websites at www.momwontherace.com and www.a1cashsecrets.com/

One Response to “Healthcare and the Family Budget – How to Get the Biggest Bang for Your Buck!”

  1. [...] When considering the family budget and being a good parent, providing quality healthcare at a reasonable price is right up there with the mortgage payment, car payments and college tuition. Consumer driven healthcare is a movement in the United… …more [...]

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