Medicare Changes in 2014

Medicare Changes in 2014 as Part of Obamacare

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The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will cost Seniors on Medicare more money.  Below is a cost calculator for Seniors aged 50-64 who are NOT on Medicare.  This tool will easily and quickly allow you to compare what your costs are estimated to be.

This will help you understand why you may choose to integrate supplements to control costs and to estimate just how much better benefits you can get by adding five (5) specific supplements to your individualized healthcare plan.  The list of these supplements is below.  Links are provided for Medigap quotes as well as for these five (5) supplements available through companies like Manhattan Life and others.

If you are on Medicare, many enrollees are selecting the Medicare HDF (High Deductible Plan F) as a major medical component and complementing it with very affordable ancillary products that give them the services and access to PCPs they want without the hassles of making an appointment, waiting weeks or months to get in, and then realizing just how expensive the visit has become.

Many Seniors are opting for higher deductibles in order to keep their monthly healthcare premiums affordable.  As a result, lots of Seniors are choosing to enroll in supplements suitable for their specific needs by using their monthly savings to acquire the supplements and services they want most.

Illustration:

Spouse 1 with Medicare HDF pays about $150/month

Spouse 2 with Medicare HDF pays about $150/month

Combining 5 supplements (below) total about $190/mo. You’ve Beat the System!

How?  You’re getting your $10,000 deductible “gap” filled with affordable supplements AND you are getting 24/7 access to a doctor from the comfort of your home!  YOU don’t have to make appointments, wait in line, or invest the effort in traveling to your doctor!

Total household cost for Medicare HDF (High Deductible Plan F) and 5 supplements in 2014 and beyond is about $490/month with the household having deductibles covered and 24/7 access to a Board certified primary care physician.  Prescriptions written, too!

Consider these 5 supplements as a “package” to provide the healthcare you want :

1. HouseCalls 24/7   (The Talk to a Doc telemedicine plan for $19.95/month for an individual and only $24.95/month for a married couple.)  Allows you to video conference, email, or do a telephone consultation with a Board certified physician in your area to take care of your most common and ongoing medical needs and health care issues from the comfort of your home.  No need to call for an appointment just to find out it’ll be weeks or months to visit a doctor…especially with so many more people coming into the healthcare system!  Get your prescriptions written or refilled and take care of your healthcare needs by phone or Internet!)

2. Accident & Injury Protection Supplement   (About $45/month policy that pays all of your deductible for you and up to $50,000 in cash to YOU…not the doctors or hospital.)

3. Prescriptions and Co-Pays  (About $40/month for the vast majority of your co-pays and prescriptions covered at significant discounts. Works well with HouseCalls 24/7!)

4. Cash for Cancer   (About $30/month to get up to $50,000 paid to you or a family member upon first diagnosis.  Money goes to YOU and NOT the doctor or hospital)

5. Cash for Critical Illness  (About $30/month to get up to $50,000 paid to you if a critical illness occurs.  Money goes to YOU and NOT the doctors or hospital.)

The bottom line:  You save money every month with a higher Medicare deductible such as the Medicare High-Deductible Plan F (HDF).  Take the monthly savings and invest them in these policies that provide you the critical financial protection you need along with the very services you will want when the situation arises.  These policies and subscriptions are designed to protect you and your family much better while giving you the flexibility and comfort of knowing you will receive the medical care you need, cash straight to YOU if you get sick, and the ability to stay at home while you talk to a doctor when you need to.  You also get the personal convenience of having a doctor write your prescriptions for you without leaving your house!

Industry leaders and healthcare insurance specialists refer to this supplement protection plan as a no-brainer!  Naturally, you want to know more about what “telemedicine” is, how to use it, and why it would be useful for you.  Read on.

What is Telemedicine?

The American Telemedicine Association defines Telemedicine as “the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another via electronic communications to improve patients’ health status.”  This definition is taking on new meanings in the medical community as well as society in general today given health reform.

The term “telehealth”, “e-health” and “telemedicine” are often used interchangeably. The difference being that telemedicine involves using information technology primarily for the delivery of clinical services while telehealth and e-health also include the provision of non-clinical healthcare services like tele-education and tele-training for continuing medical education, practice management, research and administration.

Telemedicine is practiced when medical services like health consultations, diagnoses, procedures, patient report analysis, monitoring and so on.  They are electronically provided by practitioners to patients based in remote locations using telemedicine technology and equipment.  Telemedicine is also used for Seniors and mobility-challenged persons who do not wish to trek down to the doctor’s office for appointments.

Members can simply log on to the Internet or pick up their phones (even cell phones) and call to “talk to a doc” 24/7 whenever a medical need arises whether great or small.

Telemedicine is evolving.  There are innovative and much needed solutions now in the medical marketplace to assist people with their healthcare needs and wellness.  The use of technology is expanding and allowing more people more access to Primary Care Physicians (PSP), doctors, specialists, and supporting healthcare professionals who offer a wide array of services.  Some medical practitioners suggest their practices will include more telemedicine patients in the future.

For example, if health reform creates significant stress on an already overburdened healthcare system, many patients may choose to use telemedicine to help them get basic medical care, a wellness plan, and a prescription written.  Industry experts feel many people will subscribe to service providers who offer telemedicine.

These subscribers will be able to video conferences, telephone consultations, and email exchanges with Board certified physicians in their areas so that the subscriber (patient) can get a diagnoses, course of action, and a prescription when necessary without having to make and appointment to see a doctor face-to-face.  This saves the patient (subscriber) considerable time, effort and money.

Benefits of Telemedicine

Telemedicine services aim to replace or at least equal traditional clinic visits, face-to-face consultations and visiting nurses.  Telemedicine plans save costs and provide better care in locations where the quality of healthcare is not up to the mark. So far, around 50 medical subspecialties have adopted telemedicine with radiology turning out to be a heavy user. Teleradiology is widely used to electronically transmit x-rays, CT scans and other images to remote providers for evaluation and assessment.

Other branches that have resorted to telemedicine to improve their quality, reach and accessibility are dermatology, ophthalmology, psychiatry, cardiology and pathology.

Telemedicine technology allows patients to avail of quality consultations, monitoring, electronic housecalls, testing, diagnosis and treatments from remote locations that may lack the required medical services, connecting patients and practitioners via an integrated, global healthcare system. With telemedicine, practitioners can provide improved diagnoses and better treatments due to comprehensive digital data that is available to them offline and over the web. Follow-ups and monitoring patients becomes easier and more efficient owing to automated active monitoring devices that provide continual and constant connectivity between the two parties. As for patients in remote or under-served areas, telemedicine gives them access to world-class medical services without having to travel or shift base. This not only helps them gain valuable medical advice and treatment from top medical specialists but also saves on their travel expenses, unnecessary hospital visits and in many cases, cost of medicines and expensive health facilities.  It also allows patients to “talk to a doc” 24/7 from home when they simply don’t feel up to making an arduous journey to the doctor’s office.

More so, many people can’t wait 2-3 months for an appointment with a doctor simply to get a prescription written or refilled.  With the influx of new people into the healthcare system as a result of the health reform, long lines for ER services and even longer waits for doctor’s appointments for common and everyday ailments like colds, the flu, respiratory infections, migraines, joint pain, back aches and other infirmaries may be able to get medical attention through a telemedicine visit online or by phone.

Controlling Health Costs with Telemedicine

Many people are struggling with the soaring deductibles and formidable monthly premiums of traditional medicine and common major medical plans whether purchased through an employer (group benefits) or independently on the open market from major providers.  An increasing number of Americans are realizing they rarely, if ever, exceed their $1,000 or $2,000 deductibles in any given year.  As a result, they’re wondering why they’re paying so much for a major medical plan that’s very expensive and usually has little benefit.

Enter the world of telemedicine and cost-effective supplements.  Many Americans are choosing to raise their deductibles to $10,000 in order to lower their monthly premiums.  Scores of people are saving $300 to $500 a month when they do…depending on family size, zip code, availability of services, and other criteria.  These thrifty and savvy Americans are then using some of these monthly savings to buy telemedicine plans and other supplements to give them the healthcare and medical services they most commonly need at more affordable prices while “filling in the gaps” of the high deductible financial exposure in the event of a catastrophic injury or illness.   As an illustration of how this works, consider the example below:

Family of Four with Traditional Healthcare Benefits:

Major Medical Monthly Premium (Group Benefits at Work):     $1,500

Employee’s Monthly Premium (1/2 of Group Monthly Rate):     $  750

Deductible:    $1,000

Family of Four with Telemedicine & Supplements + Group Benefits:

Major Medical Monthly Premium (Group Benefits at Work):      $  900

Employee’s Monthly Premium (1/2 of Group Monthly Rate):     $  450

Deductible:    $10,000

Monthly Savings to Family: $ 300

Telemedicine Plan Monthly:    $ 30

Critical Illness Policy :             $ 40  (Pays $10,ooo to $50,000 to Employee)

First Diagnosis Cancer:          $ 45  (Pays $10,000 to $50,000 to Employee)

Accident & Injury Policy:          $ 40  (Covers actual costs up to deductible amount)

Long-Term Care/Disability:     $ 35  (Cash to Employee for non-medical expenses)

Total for Telemed & 5 Sups: $ 190 (Result is Better Benefits for Less Money)

According to a recent study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average cost of health benefits in the private sector rose to over $16,000 annually.  Given the rate of inflation and the anticipated increases in healthcare costs once health reform begins, this amount is expected to increase substantially beginning in 2014.  Employers will be looking for ways to manage these costs.  Many employers are notifying their employees now that they can expect either higher deductibles, higher premiums or both.  Some leading national retail brands are already on the record publicly stating their benefits package will have a $10,000 deductible starting January 1, 2014.  This gives employees the incentive to seek out and find more affordable and effective healthcare solutions that meet their most common needs.

Given the illustration above, many people are expected to enroll in supplement plans and to become subscribers to telemedicine plans like HouseCalls 24/7” that allows its members to have direct access to a Board certified physician in the patient’s area with unlimited use from the privacy and convenience of their homes, offices or even cars as the case may be.

Coupling a telemedicine plan with catastrophic accident and illness supplements gives the patient the peace of mind his or her most critical medical needs will be met and the significant financial costs will be covered given the appropriate supplement plan is in place for protection.

Through the link below, you can learn more about telemedicine providers such as HouseCalls 24/7″ to see if a telemedicine plan and supporting supplements can provide you, your family, and your business with a more affordable and cost-effective approach to your medical needs and healthcare services you most commonly use.

Each link opens a new window.

American Telemedicine AssociationClick on the links below to open new windows that will bring you to the web sites you need to get the benefits, healthcare choices, services, and desirable supplements you want from the best companies in the business!

To get better benefits for less money, 

go here by clicking on these links:

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 “Talk to a Doc” 24/7 from the Comfort of Your Home!

(Video Chat, Telephone Consult or E-mail with a Board Certified Physician)

(Monthly Membership is $19.95 for One, $24.95 for 2 and $29.95 for a Family of 4)

 

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