Florida Health Insurance Web
Affordable Health Insurance Plans
Low Cost Group Insurance Plans Demanded
Recently, Florida residents along the center of the State got another dose of natural disaster; a horrible tornado blasted through, killed 19 and injured dozens more. Most of the victims of the storm say they just cancelled insurance because of rising rates - few will get their property back ? most will go bankrupt. Our prayers go out to all of them.
Everyday people in Florida talk about insurance. Do I have enough, Is my house covered, can I afford to buy health insurance? Floridians have had enough and vow to force Congress to fix Florida?s insurance problem. Rates for both property and health insurance have gone up considerably since Katrina hit the Gulf Coast 18 months ago - some premiums have more than tripled. Insurance carriers like State Farm were hit with billions of dollars in losses and one expert says, ?It?s now time for them to make up the difference.?
Finding affordable health insurance has never been easy; it is not "one size fits all." Depending on your current state of health, your budget, and individual needs, the best insurance for you may be far different than the best insurance for your friend or another family member. Now with rates so high, what do you do protect your family? Contact an expert insurance consultant and talk to them about your needs. They can show you all available policies, not just one policy from one carrier.
A basic understanding of the various types of insurance that are available in Florida, and what each does and does not cover, can be helpful in determining which plan will work best for each person. Before you buy insurance for any purpose, a talk with a ?Florida health insurance consultant? can save you literally thousands of dollars per year.
Which policy to choose, how much deductible is right for me, is my prescription drugs covered; these are the things that are on most people's minds when they look for health insurance. In Florida there are many insurance agents, selling their special type of health insurance policy. These policies vary from agent to agent, even in the same city, so the best bet is to search all available health insurance companies through a total insurance "provider" like: www.FloridaHealthInsuranceWeb.com
The first step in selecting health insurance is being knowledgeable about what each type of policy is, and what they cover. Traditional health insurance, also called "fee for service" or 80/20, is the type of insurance that most of us grew up with. With that type of health insurance, you are entitled to visit any doctor you choose, and the insurance company pays 80% of the bill.
This (80/20) type of insurance offers the greatest flexibility, but carries the highest out of pocket expenses. One thing to remember...a deductible must be met before the insurance company will pay a dime.
Another point to remember about buying health insurance; the lower your monthly premium, the higher the deductible will be. The insurance company usually reserves the right to cap payments if, in their opinion, the doctor's fees are higher than what is thought to be "reasonable and customary" in your area. This is an excellent type of coverage to have if you become extremely ill and require a network of specialists, or if your medical bills are astronomical. Once your expenses for the year reach a certain level, the insurance company will take over and pay 100%.
There are two basic types of managed care - HMO and PPO.
With a Florida HMO, or Health Maintenance Organization, you pay a monthly premium in exchange for comprehensive medical care. There is usually a small co-payment for doctor's visits (usually ranging from $5 to $25), and a somewhat higher co-pay or deductible is needed for hospitalization. The upside to this HMO Plan is: Your out of pocket expenses are significantly easier to predict and manage with an HMO rather than a fee for service plan. However, the downside of this plan is: an HMO introduces the concept of a "gatekeeper." In an HMO, you must choose a primary care physician. That doctor, working in tandem with a risk management insurance officer, will determine your access to specialists. Finally, a Florida HMO plan requires you to use doctors that are part of the Florida HMO's network. If you travel a lot, be sure to find out what the provisions are should you require an out of network doctor.
The other type of plan is the PPO. A PPO, or (Preferred Provider Organization), can be considered a blend of HMO and fee for service plans. You will choose a primary care physician in Florida, and generally use doctors that are part of the organization. However, a PPO lets you see doctors who are not part of the network for a somewhat higher fee. This increased flexibility is excellent for those who travel frequently, or for those whose current doctor is not a member of the organization.
Many other options exist for covering your medical expenses. A Health Savings Account allows you to set aside pre-tax dollars each month. Catastrophic insurance carries a low premium with a high deductible, and is designed to cover you if you develop a serious illness or injury. However, for the average consumer, the choice is generally between fee for service and managed care. All types of plans carry their own advantages and disadvantages, and it is important to understand what these are in order to make the right decisions for your family. Find out more about you available choices for health insurance from Morgan Moran at Florida Health Insurance Web.
Bush Health Plan
An opinion by Economist Edward Lotterman
Democrats should be ashamed of the short shrift they are giving President Bush's health proposals. They should embrace his proposal that we equalize tax treatment of health insurance spending.
The current system is inequitable and economically inefficient. Liberal and conservative analysts alike have criticized it for decades. It cries out for reform. The president made a proposal. If the Democrats don't like its details, they can introduce changes. To simply ignore his proposals is a cowardly disservice to the nation.
Currently, if your employer provides health insurance, the cost of that insurance is excluded from federal income taxation. If you are self employed or your employer does not provide insurance, you get little or no reduction in taxes for buying your own coverage.
Employers providing insurance tend to be large organizations, profit and nonprofit, private or government. Covered employees, on average, have higher earnings and more education than those of U.S. workers as a whole.
Excluding insurance benefits from taxation costs the U.S. Treasury more than $200 billion per year. That is an enormous sum and it benefits higher income and better-educated households disproportionately. This is unjust. Moreover, it induces economic distortions that make our economy less productive.
There are several ways one could eliminate this unfair discrimination. Bush proposed ending the blanket exclusion of all employer insurance costs. Instead, he proposed a standard deduction for all taxpayers, $7,500 for individuals and $15,000 for households.
Some Democrats oppose his proposal because "it won't solve the nation's health care problems." Of course it won't. No single measure will. But it would be a meaningful step in the right direction.
Others note that a standard deduction confers a greater implicit subsidy to those in high marginal tax brackets than it does to those in lower brackets. Of course it does, but so does the current system. So does allowing deduction of mortgage interest and charitable contributions. That has not led Democrats to oppose these provisions of the tax code.
It is simple to eliminate that inequity by making it a credit against tax owed that is the same dollar amount regardless of income.
Some also complain that the proposed brackets are too low, that a few households getting expensive coverage will pay more taxes and that rapidly rising medical costs will outstrip these brackets even if tied to the Consumer Price Index.
Fine, set the brackets higher. Index them to some measure of medical costs instead of the CPI. Or, let Congress take responsibility and raise the brackets from time to time, as it did with Social Security benefits for a third of a century.
The president put a ball in Congress's court on an important issue. They should keep it in play. Any refusal to do so is a bad omen for broader reform on health or any other contentious issue.
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