Aren’t you glad the hype about a 12/21/12 disaster is behind us? What the Mayans living today actually say is that the future is up to us. With that in mind, I’d like to share good news about our potential to face one of our biggest challenges.
Making Patients Primary in Health Care
It’s startling that nearly one in three Gallup poll participants said that the cost blocked them from medical care last year. Out of the 1,015 surveyed, that was 32 percent. That’s higher than Gallup has found in past surveys, and this report showed more people not getting care for serious health issues than for minor problems. The status quo is no longer acceptable.
I’ve been advocating for more transparency in health care pricing for years. I have an HSA for myself and my family so we pay lower than standard premiums and get tax breaks for what we pay out-of-pocket for dental and medical care. And, I firmly believe we have a right to transparency on both quality and pricing. Now, that’s becoming a reality.
As one of many unwilling to accept the status quo, François de Brantes has founded Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute. He says the health care industry can be nudged in a “radically better direction” by modifying incentives. It begins by shining light on the prices and the quality of service, and he’s not alone.
Consumer Reports, known for rating appliances, cars, etc., has begun rating doctors and hospitals, and procedures, like screening tests for heart disease. And, as they said in April, “To find a world-class heart surgeon, you don’t necessarily have to go to a world-famous heart-surgery group.” You just need the resources that can show you where to look.
There’s even a Healthcare Blue Book online now helping you see what a fair price would be for hospital care, doctor services, imaging scans like x-rays, and lab work. They even look at dental care and hearing aids. While Consumer Reports does have a low monthly fee, the Blue Book is a free guide.
Complementary Help from HSA for America
I’ve been sharing ways you can keep your health care costs down for years. Here are three suggestions to do just that in 2013:
- Use covered preventive care to prevent costly and dangerous outcomes
- Find the best deals on health care here and abroad
- Save on prescriptions.
If you missed the Sept. 2011 issue, you can read what preventive health care new policies are covering at http://www.HSAforAmerica.com/newsletter-issue-65-post.htm. It’s something you don’t want to miss. I heard this from one of our happy clients:
“Since my new policy covers preventive care before the deductible, I have been able to finally get a colonoscopy (I'm 59), bone density screening, and blood tests -- all free! (and, fortunately, all normal).”
To get the best price on a wide range of health care, you can also visit the HSA for America Additional Benefits web page at http://www.HSAforAmerica.com/member-benefits.htm. You’ll find major savings on prescriptions, lab fees, and even medical treatment from U.S. board-certified surgeons practicing in other countries.
Already have a big bill for health care? Try the bill negotiation service you’ll find there without paying a penny. They only take 30 percent of what they save you.
In between these newsletters, I’ll post the latest news and tips that can help you get better health care at a lower cost on the HSA for America Facebook page, so visit us there at https://www.facebook.com/HSAforAmerica.And, stay in touch with your Personal Benefits Consultant for direct help to be sure you continue to have the best health insurance plan for your situation. Here’s wishing that your 2013 will be your best year ever.
To your health and wealth!