January 2019 Healthcare Forum: Health Insurance Decisions for 2019 – It’s Not Too Late

Health Insurance Decisions for 2019 – It’s Not Too Late

This month’s forum will focus on obtaining the best health insurance for you and your family. If you don’t have insurance from your employer or the government (e.g. Medicare), there may still be time to choose a high-quality Affordable Care Act (ACA) policy or recently re-introduced short-term policy promulgated by the Trump administration.

Pros and Cons

ACA-Approved Policy          vs.                 Short Term Policy

Covers pre-existing illnesses                     Usually Not covered

Covers mental health and substance
abuse treatment                                          Not covered

85% of Americans qualify for tax
subsidy or credit                                         No subsidies

Help completing applications                   Help from insurance
at medical centers available                      companies, agents, or internet
from “navigators” throughout the U.S.

Can sign up at Healthcare.gov and         Purchase from insurance
at eHealth before the December 15,       companies, agents, or internet
deadline (in most states)

Bottom Line

  1. You get what you pay for.
  2. Short term policies cost less but be sure to read the fine print. These “cheap” policies may be better than having no insurance or may be helpful if you’re temporarily without insurance.

You may still be eligible for an ACA policy any time during 2019 if you have missed the December 15, deadline because you:

  1. Lost/or will be losing your existing health insurance.
  2. Lost insurance because of divorce.
  3. Moved permanently to a new county or state.
  4. Became a U.S. citizen.

Additional Insurance Tips

  1. If you want to keep your current doctor(s), make certain they are contracted with your contemplated new insurer.
  2. To avoid “surprise” expensive medical bills, make certain your doctor(s)/consultant(s), and health facilities are all “in-network”.

We believe it’s very valuable to fully understand and take advantage of all your insurance options (e.g. whether it’s Medicare, your employer, etc.). We’ve devoted many pages to health insurance and reducing out-of-pocket medical expenses in our forthcoming book, Insider’s Guide to Quality, Affordable Healthcare, available in March from Amazon, other e-book companies, and bookstores.

Our contemplated gestation period of the typical “nine months” to produce our book turned out to be a three-year endeavor before delivery because America’s healthcare system is so complex and dysfunctional. You’ll better understand our complicated system and become more empowered to obtain high quality care from reading Insider’s Guide to Quality, Affordable Healthcare.

Please direct questions to us about difficulties obtaining quality healthcare and reducing your medical expenses by visiting www.qualityaffordablehealthcare.net.

If you believe your family members/friends can benefit from our regular updates and monthly forums, please suggest they send their email address to our website.

February’s forum will focus on many other strategies to reduce your out-of-pocket cost for medical care.

Wishing you a joyful and healthy 2019,

Larry Lazarus, M.D.

Jeff Foster, M.D.

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