Campaign Helps Uninsured Kids Get Health Care Coverage Millions Of Children

Millions of children will head back to school this Fall without one of the most important of all school supplies–health insurance.

More than 8 million children in the United States are uninsured-that means one in every 10 kids might not receive the medical care they need, when they need it, because they don’t have insurance. In fact, uninsured children are 10 times more likely than insured children to miss out on needed care. Even when uninsured children do get some medical care, they often miss out on vital medical screenings and preventive care or seeing a doctor when they are sick.

To help these students start the school year off right, the Covering Kids & Families Back-to-School campaign, sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is making sure that parents, grandparents and teachers of uninsured children know that low-cost or free health care coverage is available. Many uninsured children are eligible through Medicaid or the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

These programs cover doctor visits, prescriptions, hospitalizations and more. That means parents can put ‘getting coverage for our kids’ at the top of their back-to-school checklists.

“As a physician and mother, I have seen first hand that children who have health care coverage are better prepared to learn in school and better equipped to succeed in life,” says Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A., president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “Uninsured children are less likely to receive proper medical care for childhood illnesses such as sore throats, earaches and asthma-all of which can become very serious without treatment. These children are the future of our country and we need to make sure that they get the care they need.”

Although these programs are in every state and the District of Columbia, many parents may not believe their kids are eligible. Because these parents are working, they may think they earn too much to qualify. Children in a family earning up to $40,000 a year or more may qualify for Medicaid and SCHIP. Eligibility is based on family size and income.

“Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program have provided millions of children with low-cost or free health care coverage, but there are millions more who are still eligible,” said Sarah Shuptrine, national program director of Covering Kids & Families. “Many people still do not know about these programs, and parents in working families might assume their children would not qualify. Anyone can help get eligible kids covered. Grandparents can play an important role and are encouraged to find out about these public health coverage programs.

Eclipsing the Mind: The Most Common Mental Health Disorders Today

Statistics about mental health problems are now becoming more increasingly alarming. The

key factors in the apparent rise in mental health cases have not yet been fully determined.

In fact, authorities may have released inaccurate figures since people tend to hide mental

illness or ignore them. This is also the reason why many mental health problems worsen.

Perhaps, the only good news to come out from this is that there are some common mental

health disorders and conditions among the statistics. According to the records of a number

of Washington-based psychiatric hospitals, there are four particularly common strands of

mental health problems that have been recorded.

Depression

Among all the common mental health disorders, depression is stated as being the most

common. Approximately 80% of the population has experienced clinical depression at one

point in their lives. In the early stages, this problem can be alleviated through

counseling. However, the problem lies in the fact that most people tend to see the early

stages of depression as just a negative mood swing. Since it is typically difficult for

most people to detect depression until it has taken full effect, the condition can often go

completely unnoticed. For some people, the physical and mental changes are gradual, which

only makes it harder to detect the problem.

Bi-polar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, as compared with depression, is more difficult to detect. The condition

causes the person’s mood to swing, being manic one moment and depressed in the next. While

this usually fits the stereotype of people with this particular strain of mental health

illness, the reality is that there are periods where the person exhibits a relatively

normal mood. This period of normalcy between the high and low points is often enough for

casual observers to discount the possibility of a person having bi-polar disorder. Often,

casual observers and the patient himself will only note the frequency of the mood swings

and the possibility of a problem much later on. On occasion, a session of psychiatric

counseling mandated by company policy can detect the problem. However, not all companies

have such a system in place.

Schizophrenia

Approximately two million people are suffering from schizophrenia at any given time, which

should be a cause for alarm. The condition is often characterized by the patient hearing

“voices” in their head that no one else can hear, a typical trait of insane people. This

mental health condition has a number of sub-varieties and can effectively disable a

person’s ability to interact with others if left unattended or treated. Schizophrenia can

also sometimes cause other mental health disorders. While there are medications that have

been proven to alleviate the problem, there are still some cases where medication must be

complimented by counseling. Roughly 20% of people who develop the condition never fully

recover and times of great stress and anxiety can sometimes result in a relapse.

Alzheimer’s

Arguably, Alzheimer’s Disease is among the most debilitating mental conditions known to

man. The increasing frequency of the condition has caused alarm since current medications

only help ease the symptoms and not really treat the condition. Usually diagnosed during

the latter years of a person, Alzheimer’s can take an immense toll on one’s life and

relationships. As a debilitating condition, it rapidly takes away the patient’s self-

confidence and ability to physically function in a normal way. In contrast to other mental

health problems, Alzheimer’s is relatively easy to detect if the person is properly

informed. However, as previously mentioned, the disease is difficult to treat with any

level of certainty. Counseling is known to have minimal effects even the mildest of cases.

There is still no psychoactive medication that has shown appreciable effects other than

“delaying the inevitable.”

As these mental health conditions eclipse the human mind, it has become more clear that

more work needs to be done in terms of research and drug development.

Comparison of Five Pet Health Insurance Plans

It doesn’t matter if you have already decided to purchase health insurance for the family pet or if you are simply. When you are comparing the quote of one health insurance quote to another remember that the base doller amount is not the only number you have to consider. In addition to the monthly payment make sure you also check out exactly what type of veterinary care and treatments are covered (some basic insurance plans do not include cancer treatment), what kind of deductible you, the pet owner, will be expected to pay, is there a yearly cap on medical expenses, and what type of discounts are available.
At the moment there are only a handful of companies that offer pet health insurance. Five of the most popular companies are Pets Best Pet Insurance, Veterinary Pet Insurance, ShelterCare, Pets Health and PetCare.
An insurance plan through Pets Best Pet Insurance will cost approximately $32.00 a month ($384.00 annually). Pets Best will cover pet sterilization provided the pet owner purchases an additional wellness plan. Pets Best does not cover pre-existing medical conditions a pet has so its best to insure them early in life before problems develop. Pets Best has a life time limit of $99,750 dollars per pet. Pets Best health insurance plans come with a $75.00 deductible. Multiple pet discounts are available. Pet’s Best pet health insurance does cover cancer.
Veterinary Pet Insurance is a company that offers pet owner a $14,000 a year cap on an insurance plan that only costs approximately $20.00 dollars a month. Veterinary Pet Insurance offers plans with a $50.00 deductible (after the deductible they pay ninety percent of the bill) on plans that include pet sterilization and cancer coverage. Veterinary Pet Insurance does not accept pre-existing conditions and does not offer multi-pet discounts.
ShelterCare is a pet insurance that cost pet’s owners approximately $29.95. For that $29.95 there is absolutely no deductible and cancer treatments are covered. ShelterCare will not pay for pet sterilization nor will they cover any pre-existing conditions. ShelterCare does not have a benefit cap. ShelterCare offers premium discounts for multi-pet plans, medical service, and micro-chips.
A pet health insurance policy through PetsHealth insurance company will cost the pet owner approximately $37.17 dollars per month. PetsHealth covers 80% of the pets vet bill after the $100.00 doller deductible is paid. PetsHealth has a $13,000 doller cap on each per year. PetHealth does insure pre-existing conditions after ninety days. Multi-pet discounts are available through PetHealth. PetsHealth does offer pet health insurance plans that cover cancer on a case by case basis.
PetCare is a pet health insurance company that estimates the average cost for a policy for a pet is $29.95 a month. This plan includes a fifty doller deductible. While PetCare is happy to cover the cost your pet’s cancer treatments they will not pay for any pre-existing conditions nor will they pay for pet sterilization. PetCare offers discounts for multi-pet plans and medical service.
None of the estimated monthly prices for these insurance companies include any extra insurances riders.
Any one or all of these companies can change their policies between now and the time you purchase a pet health insurance plan.
Remember to read the fine print before you sign up for a pet health insurance plan.
All five of these pet health insurance companies have their own websites where you can go to get up to date pet health insurance quotes.
There are other pet health insurance companies with different prices, discounts, stipulations, and benefit caps if you are not content with the previous five comparisons.

Alternatives To High Priced Health Insurance

Most Americans are struggling to afford health insurance. In just the past few years, the cost of buying health insurance for your family has skyrocketed. I was talking with an insurance agent recently, who told me it’s not unusual at all for his clients to be paying $1,000 to $1,400 per month for their family to be covered.

I don’t know many people who can easily afford those kinds of monthly insurance payments. Most who are paying them are making major sacrifices in other areas. The vast majority of Americans put health coverage very high on their list of priorities, so the other things that get left behind might surprise you. No question, the quality of life is far lower for many people now that they pay so much to be insured.

Meanwhile, many employers are cutting back their employees’ insurance coverage. Professions that once paid all their employees’ health insurance premiums — like teachers and firefighters — are finding the employee footing the bill for larger and larger portions of their insurance.

How are people coping? Many Americans simply don’t have health insurance anymore. That’s a big problem not only for families, who often put off going to the doctor, but also for society in general. People who hesitate buying medicine or seeing a doctor often end up very sick in hospital emergency rooms.

Others are simply reducing the amount of health insurance they have. They pay a larger portion of their doctor visits and prescription medicine costs. If you are a young adult, it may not make a lot of sense to pay huge insurance premiums to be covered for major illnesses that you are very unlikely to experience.

There are a growing number of health insurance plans that let you pick and choose the areas of coverage you want to pay for. While this practice was prohibited in many states, more and more places are seeing the wisdom and necessity of this approach.

Even more pressing than the cost of health insurance is the cost of buying prescription medicines. Many people simply can’t afford the spiraling cost of the medicines they need. Others might insist, willingly lowering their standard of living just to afford overpriced medicine. The solution to this problem increasingly has nothing to do with insurance. Organizations use their large pool of members to negotiate big discounts on prescription drugs at thousands of chain and independent pharmacies nationwide. Typically you can save up to 60% off generic drugs and up to 15% off name-brand drugs.

This is a big advantage for the elderly, families, businesses, organizations, and anyone who wants to lower their cost of medicine. Additionally, some programs also cover medicine for your pets. If you often care for an ill animal, this can save you a lot of money over time.

Unlike insurance, discount drug programs are often very low cost or free. Pharmacies participate in the discount programs to encourage you to buy from them. It’s a win-win for both you and the medical industry.

Baby Boomer Couples Cutting Health Care Costs

Baby boomer couples cutting health care costs by pooling resources to reduce the cost of long term care premiums. Instead of buying for one, advisers and analysts say you can sometimes slash premium costs by approaching long term care insurance as a couple.

For those willing to shop around the following three strategies are worth exploring:

1.Shared care plans

In general, sharing long-term policies doesn’t eliminate the need for both partners to buy separate plans. B…

Keywords:
baby boomer couples cutting health care costs, long term care premiums, long term care partnership, shared care plans

Article Body:
Baby boomer couples cutting health care costs by pooling resources to reduce the cost of long term care premiums. Instead of buying for one, advisers and analysts say you can sometimes slash premium costs by approaching long term care insurance as a couple.

For those willing to shop around the following three strategies are worth exploring:

1.Shared care plans

In general, sharing long-term policies doesn’t eliminate the need for both partners to buy separate plans. But unlike traditional policies, a special rider is tacked on to each to allow one spouse to dip into another’s benefits.

The main advantage of shared coverage is that if you need more than your current plan allows. But what happens if both eventually go over their allotted amounts?

If you’ve bought a contract with plenty of flexibility and terms that stretch over long periods, experts say that won’t necessarily be a problem. They point out that some providers offer policies that can cover an entire lifetime. A longer time frame usually means greater premiums. A lifetime policy can translate into extra costs when compared with short-term plans covering three- to five-years of long-term care.

“That can defeat the whole purpose of buying a policy that allows you to share benefits,” says Neil Gholson, President of LTC Finical Solutions, inc..

To make sure you don’t run out of benefits, Neil suggests at least four years of coverage. The Consumers Union senior policy analyst says that’s based on data showing nursing-home use averages around 2.5 years in long-term policies.

“Very few people spend more than five years in a nursing home,” Gholson said. “So if you’re going to get a long-term plan that shares care between spouses, look at a four-year term. Fewer years could be a little shy, especially considering that policies can cover home as well as nursing home care.”

Best suited for shared care policies might be couples that want to buy shorter-term plans but still want some flexibility to reach into their spouse’s pool of benefits, he added.

2. Long term care partnership deals

Two years ago, Congress expanded to most of the country a program that had been running for years in less than a handful of states. It allows the total value of long-term-care policies to be counted against Medicaid requirements for drawing on personal assets to pay health bills.

But different states have different contingencies. For example, in New York consumers must purchase a long-term-care policy that covers at least three years in a nursing home and six years of home-based care. In return, the state pledges not to go after any personal assets once someone exhausts the benefits in their private policy, says Gholson.

“So Medicaid care becomes a free benefit without any strings attached,” he added.

States such as California and Connecticut use what’s termed dollar-for-dollar protection. In those cases, authorities count the value of a private insurance policy to determine the amount of assets that are protected against pay-down requirements in Medicaid.

It saves the states money because they’re shifting costs of long-term care to insurance companies. And it puts fewer burdens than we currently have on the entire Medicaid system.

For individuals, such partnerships can limit the size of policies they’ve got to buy. The trade-off is that if you buy less coverage than a state’s threshold to qualify for Medicaid, you’ll still wind up dipping into your savings.

“If you live in a dollar-for-dollar state, you might want to buy enough insurance to protect your entire portfolio in a partnership program,” Gholson said.

3. Ask insurance agents about discounts on bundled purchases

This could be the simplest way to savings.

Some carriers now offer promotional rates for two people that buy a long term care package at the same time.

Those are marketed as spousal discounts and can range between 15% and 25% off regular premiums. And if you qualify as extremely fit and healthy candidates, some carriers will even add another 10% discount on top.

Some things to consider:

Each of the three options presents different caveats. “People need to remember that the shared-care marketplace is a fairly new phenomenon,” said Cheryl Matheis, a health strategist at AARP. “They need to ask a lot of questions and carefully examine all of the details in each policy.”

1. Check the insurers’ history of changing prices and policy conditions. Only a few carriers haven’t hiked premiums.

2. Shared long term care benefits likely will cost you slightly more than traditional long-term-care policies of a similar term.

The alternative is that if two people aren’t sharing long-term-care insurance, they’ll probably need to buy more extensive individual policies to get the same level of coverage. The big advantage to shared care is that you reduce the term of policies.

3. If you’ve got enough money, the best option is always to buy separate longer-term plans.

4. If you’re looking at a more affordable alternative, then shared care is an option to at least consider.

5. If you choose a state partnership programs need to note any loopholes may exist, Gholson says. Even buying enough private care insurance to match asset levels isn’t a guaranteed solution.

“Depending on where you live or move, the different Medicaid eligibility and income requirements in each state, the government might still be able to come after your assets in certain cases,” Gholson said.

Spouses cutting health care costs can produce significant benefits with the right amount of research. Contact a Long Term Care Professional that represents several carriers to see what your options are.