(PRWEB) September 15, 2004
The healthcare crisis continues to hold the headlines and will be hotly debated as the election approaches. While both political parties agree that the ailing healthcare system needs more than a shot in the arm, they are divided on just how to make it happen. According to CBS MarketWatch, August 31, 2004, ÂBush, Kerry Health Care Proposals Offer Stark ContrastÂ. In fact, debate on how to restructure the complex, overburdened system is coming from every quarter. There is even debate around the severity of the problem.
Some statistics*, however, cannot be ignored:
Â 45 million Americans are uninsured and the number is expected to escalate to an estimated 51-53 million by 2006.
Â Small businesses are struggling under double digit price increases for the cost of providing health care benefits to employees.
Â On average seniors spend about $2,300 per year on...drugs.
Â TodayÂs average premium for a family insurance policy, $9086 a year, already represents 21% of the national median household income of $42,409.
Since sweeping reforms will be required to rescue the healthcare industry, resolution will not be forthcoming anytime soon. Consumers need to be aware of affordable alternatives to living uninsured or underinsured. Healthcare Savings Plans (not to be confused with Health Savings Accounts, which are tax-deductible savings programs) provide consumers with discounted prices similar to those negotiated by health insurance companies. Combining those benefits with nationwide PPO networks gives consumers benefits with similar out of pocket requirements found in most individual health plans.
Gail Lynn Moore, founder of wwwLowerMyDoctorBillscom has worked in the financial services industry for more than 22 years. She spent several years with G.E. Financial Assurance (now Genworth Financial) and led the design of the firmÂs top selling long term care policy, G.E. Long Term Care Choice. She was introduced to the International Association of Businesses (IAB) benefit plans while selling individual health insurance. IAB is a non-profit association committed to "promote the interest and financial security for the family unitÂ. (For more on IAB visit: http://www.lowermydoctorbills.com/history.asp.)
She comments, ÂI was already aware of the healthcare crisis the country was facing. Individuals and families could not afford the coverage I was offering, which was competitively priced. Or, they were uninsurable due to pre-existing health conditions. People think that itÂs only the very poor that cannot afford health insurance coverage in this country. ThatÂs just not true. It is the typical working family that is not offered employer-sponsored benefits and if they are offered, the cost of covering family members is prohibitive.Â
She continues, ÂI am also concerned with our elderly. In addition to dealing with issues surrounding long term care needs, they are suffering sticker shock at the pharmacy. And, the viability of a comprehensive prescription program from Medicare is yet to be proven. In the meantime, seniors should not have to decide between buying medication needed to stay alive and groceries. Significant prescription savings as well as a long term care advisory benefit is available on a plan designed with seniors in mind.
I became a Marketing Associate with IAB because I can see these plans as catalysts in the way healthcare is acquired in this country. Whether you are uninsured, underinsured or uninsurable, these plans fill a major health care gap by making basic maintenance health benefits affordable for the entire family and providing significant savings for other medical expenses.
Hopefully, political leaders will hear the call of their constituencies: ÂLower My Doctor Bills!Â; ÂLower My Prescription Bills!Â; ÂLower My Healthcare Costs!Â. Until they do, AmericaÂs healthcare needs are not being met, but IAB memberships are changing the way America buys healthcare.Â
*National Coalition on Health Care, "Health Insurance Coverage", http://www.nchc.org/facts/cost.shtml.
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