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Health Insurance Information
What kinds of health insurance are there?
There are essentially two kinds of heath insurance: Fee-for-Service and Managed Care. Although these plans differ, they both cover an array of medical, surgical and hospital expenses. Most cover prescription drugs and some also offer dental coverage.
These plans generally assume that the medical professional will be paid a fee for each service provided to the patient. Patients are seen by a doctor of their choice and the claim is filed by either the medical provider or the patient.
- Managed Care
More than half of all Americans have some kind of managed-care plan1. Various plans work differently and can include: health maintenance organizations (HM0s), preferred provider organizations (PPOs) and point-of-service (POS) plans. These plans provide comprehensive health services to their members and offer financial incentives to patients who use the providers in the plan.
What is 'long-term care'?
Because of old age, mental or physical illness, or injury, some people find themselves in need of help with eating, bathing, dressing, toileting or continence, and/or transferring (e.g., getting out of a chair or out of bed). These six actions are called Activities of Daily Living–sometimes referred to as ADLs. In general, if you can’t do two or more of these activities, or if you have a cognitive impairment, you are said to need “long-term care.”
Long-term care isn’t a very helpful name for this type of situation because, for one thing, it might not last for a long time. Some people who need ADL services might need them only for a few months or less.
Many people think that long-term care is provided exclusively in a nursing home. It can be, but it can also be provided in an adult day care center, an assisted living facility, or at home.
Assistance with ADLs, called “custodial care,” may be provided in the same place as (and therefore is sometimes confused with) “skilled care.” Skilled care means medical, nursing, or rehabilitative services, including help taking medicine, undergoing testing (e.g. blood pressure), or other similar services. This distinction is important because generally Medicare and most private health insurance pays only for skilled care–not custodial care.
What are the types of disability insurance?
There are two types of disability policies: Short-Term Disability (STD) and Long-Term Disability (LTD):
- Short-Term Disability policies (STD) have a waiting period of 0 to 14 days with a maximum benefit period of no longer than two years.
- Long-Term Disability policies (LTD) have a waiting period of several weeks to several months with a maximum benefit period ranging from a few years to the rest of your life.
Disability policies have two different protection features that are important to understand.
- Non-cancelable means the policy cannot be canceled by the insurance company, except for nonpayment of premiums. This gives you the right to renew the policy every year without an increase in the premium or a reduction in benefits.
- Guaranteed renewable gives you the right to renew the policy with the same benefits and not have the policy canceled by the company. However, your insurer has the right to increase your premiums as long as it does so for all other policyholders in the same rating class as you.
In addition to the traditional disability policies, there are several options you should consider when purchasing a policy:
- Additional purchase options
Your insurance company gives you the right to buy additional insurance at a later time for an additional cost.
- Coordination of benefits
The amount of benefits you receive from your insurance company is dependent on other benefits you receive because of your disability. Your policy specifies a target amount you will receive from all the policies combined, so this policy will make up the difference not paid by other policies.
- Cost of living adjustment (COLA)
The COLA increases your disability benefits over time based on the increased cost of living measured by the Consumer Price Index. You will pay a higher premium if you select the COLA.
- Residual or partial disability rider
This provision allows you to return to work part-time, collect part of your salary and receive a partial disability payment if you are still partially disabled.
- Return of premium
This provision requires the insurance company to refund part of your premium if no claims are made for a specific period of time declared in the policy.
- Waiver of premium provision
This clause means that you do not have to pay premiums on the policy after you’re disabled for 90 days.
What is Medicare?
Medicare is a fee-for-service health care program for seniors, in which the government pays health care providers directly for services that fall under Parts A and B of Medicare benefits (see below). However, if you are looking for more coverage than Original Medicare, you can purchase one of our Medicare Advantage Plans to receive all your Part A and Part B benefits.1
Medicare is divided into four categories. This allows you to customize your personal coverage when shopping for a comprehensive policy.
- Part A (hospital insurance): Covers hospital care, emergency services, nursing home care, home health services and hospice.
- Part B (medical insurance): Covers medically necessary services and supplies used for diagnosing and treating medical conditions, and preventative services for illness prevention and/or early detection. Examples include ambulance services, mental health care, outpatient procedures and clinical research.
- Part C: Combines Parts A and B and often part D as well.
- Part D: Offers prescription drug coverage.
What Medicare options are available?
Original Medicare offers coverage for services and supplies that are considered to be medically necessary, such as doctor visits, lab tests and wheelchairs. There are several alternative plans you can choose from for additional coverage, and each plan must offer at least the same coverage as Original Medicare. There are two Medicare plans that we can assist you with.
- A Medicare Advantage Plan, also known as Part C, combines Part A and Part B as a replacement to Medicare for more comprehensive health care coverage. This plan can be customized with additional coverage, such as a prescription drug program (Part D), vision and dental.
- A Medicare Supplemental Plan, also known as Medigap, has a higher premium but supplements the coverage gaps and deductibles that Part A and Part B leave behind.
Why do you need Medicare?
Seniors are in the most need of health care, but once retired monthly premiums can become hard to maintain. Enrolling in the Medicare program allows you to get the care you need for a minimal charge.
Contact us today to learn more about coverage options. We are happy to work with you to determine which Medicare options works best for you.
Thank you for your interest in Walden Insurance Network, Inc. If you would like to talk to an insurance agent, please call our office at 727-848-2722 or email your questions and an insurance professional will reply promptly.
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1 - Source : MANAGED CARE AND THE STATES
The above description provides a brief overview of the terms and phrases used within the insurance industry. These definitions are not applicable in all states or for all insurance and financial products. This is not an insurance contract. Other terms, conditions and exclusions apply. Please read your official policy for full details about coverages. These definitions do not alter or modify the terms of any insurance contract. In there is any conflict between these definitions and the provisions of the applicable insurance policy, the terms of the policy control.