confused-about-on-off-exchange

Confused about On-Exchange and Off-Exchange Plans?

Part of the Affordable Care Act’s mission was to create more health insurance options available to more Americans. Several changes were made to what must be covered in all plans, how premiums are calculated and the ways you can shop for a health insurance plan. More choices mean more decisions to make, including where to shop for coverage. Learn how two of those options, on-exchange and off-exchange, compare, and how the differences might affect you and your household. What Do On-Exchange and Off-Exchange Mean? The ACA created the Health Insurance Marketplace, also known as the Affordable Insurance Exchange or Obamacare…

how-to-avoid-out-of-network-bills

How to Avoid “Out-of-Network” Medical Bills

If you or a family member have to undergo a medical procedure, you’re probably already feeling stressed. The arrival of an unexpected bill in the days that follow can feel like the last straw, especially if it’s an “out-of-network” bill from a provider whom you saw at your “in-network” hospital. Read on to learn how to avoid these extra charges if you can, and how to deal with the ones you can’t avoid if you can’t. Why it Happens Hospitals are complex hives of activity, and many different practitioners provide services within their walls. It would be simple if every person…

5-Reasons-Need-Advocate-Hospital

5 Reasons Why You Need an Advocate in the Hospital

Hospitals save lives, but they aren’t places you should venture into alone if you have a choice in the matter. Here are five reasons why you’re likely to have a better outcome if you have a friend or family member act as your advocate throughout your hospitalization. 1. An Extra Pair of Eyes Reduces Medical Errors Did you know that preventable medical errors are the third-most common cause of death in the United States, with over 440,000 people dying from them every year? You can’t be expected to be on top of your game while you’re undergoing hospitalization, so having…

What-Rights-do-Family-Members-Partners

What Rights Do Family Members and Partners Have in the Hospital?

One of the first questions that arises when you or someone close to you is hospitalized concerns who is permitted to visit the patient and provide support. Laws have changed over the years, so here’s an update on what you can expect during a hospitalization today: The Patient Is in Control Since 2011, federal regulations have required any hospital accepting Medicare and Medicaid (which includes almost every hospital) to allow patients to say whom they want as visitors. The patient’s wishes must be respected regardless of gender, sexual orientation or relationship. General hospital rules regarding visiting hours will be enforced,…

What-is-HIPPA

HIPAA does much more than simply protect the privacy of your medical history; it also guarantees you the right to view your own medical records, which is a major innovation in health care. Here’s your quickie pocket guide to everything you need to know about HIPAA. What Do the Letters Stand For, Anyway? They stand for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. First created in 1996, this evolving set of federal laws contains a Privacy Rule and a Security Rule. That may sound simple, but in fact HIPAA is a cluster of detailed regulations, and health care personnel have to…

Changes-to-report

Changes to report if you have a Marketplace plan

Let’s say you’re one of the nearly 13 million people who signed up for a plan through the Health Insurance Marketplaces during open or special enrollment. You completed your eligibility application with information that was true at the time. Then, several months later, your family moves to another house. You probably know you’ll need to report the change of address to the Marketplace, but what else do you need to report? Generally, you should report any changes that impact your family size, changes that affect your household income or changes to available health coverage. Why You Should Report Your Income…

Tips-to-be-an-informed-medical-consumer

You have some control over the quality of the medical care you receive. If you invest time in becoming a participant in your own treatment, rather than a passive recipient, you’ll experience better outcomes. Here are five basic tips to get you started: Don’t Keep Secrets From Your Doctor You may try to maintain a certain image with your boss, your neighbors or even your spouse – but you need to come clean with your doctor. If you actually hit the donut shop every morning instead of the gym, your doctor is the one who needs to know. That includes disclosing…