Posted By National Wellness Institute,
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Updated: Thursday, December 27, 2012
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A recent interview published in the New York Times conducted by Walecia Konrad with a 20-year health insurance veteran, Wendell Potter, left readers with the following advice:
- Ignore marketing materials when looking for affordable insurance. Don’t be persuaded by slick messages; instead, make sure you understand the coverage.
- Read everything carefully, even if you are covered by your employer.
- Be wary of mini-med or limited benefits plans. Many have very low-lifetime caps and others do not pay for hospitalization. The health law eliminates these plans in 2014, when no lifetime or annual caps on coverage will be allowed, but in the meantime these policies trouble me a great deal. And the insurance industry will lobby heavily for more flexibility to offer limited benefits even after 2014. So, be on guard.
- Visit healthcare.gov to get straightforward information on plans. The industry must comply by supplying accurate information for this site.
- High deductible plans have good and bad points. Consumers should do their best to know exactly what they can afford. If the out-of-pocket costs are going to be impossible for you, it may well make sense to pay more in premiums for more extensive coverage. For the most part, high deductibles make sense only for the young and healthy or wealthy.
- Consumers have a right to appeal when coverage is denied. With the new law, all consumers will have access to two layers of review. That’s a significant victory.Most important, if you feel you have been denied something you should have and that your doctor has prescribed and approved, don’t accept the denial as the last word. Insurers count on people just giving up.