The United States has one of the costliest healthcare systems in the world. The government has predicted that the annual federal spending on healthcare will be around $4.4 trillion by 2018, or about $13,000 on every resident of the country.
The federal health reforms aim to cut down heavily on this major spending. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act plans to minimize the healthcare budget by bringing in more regulations to the health and health insurance sectors. These regulations will ensure that more dollars are spent on providing healthcare to the residents and does not go in to the pocket of the private parties.
Another important scheme is the adoption of IT to improve medical management and delivery and thus contribute towards savings. Healthcare IT will not save on administrative costs but will bring in more efficiency and speed in providing health care to the residents.
However, there are certain aspects about healthcare IT that need special attention before it can
Blog Posts by Shaun
- Shaun | Healthy Living – Thu, Mar 10, 2011 8:52 AM EST
The United States has one of the costliest healthcare systems in the world. The government has predicted that the annual federal spending on healthcare will be around $4.4 trillion by 2018, or about $13,000 on every resident of the country.Read More »from Developing Healthcare IT for Better Insurance Regulations
- Shaun | Healthy Living – Wed, Mar 9, 2011 8:13 AM EST
Health Information Exchange is all set to revolutionize healthcare in the country. Electronic medical records is a big step for healthcare IT that will soon make maintaining records hassle free but will also make paper accounts obsolete. Doctors will be able to access the medical history of the patients faster and this will definitely speed up the treatment process. Everything seems hunky dory, but wait, there are issues that raise concern and questions that need answers.Read More »from Healthcare Software: Can Small Healthcare Facilities Afford it?
To begin with, what will be the cost of the entire transition to going paperless? Who will fund the process? Do small clinics meet the required standards to be eligible for the governments? Can they afford the costs? And last, but definitely an equally important concern - Can these small clinics meet the goal of going digital within the next five years?
The federal government is funding billions of dollars to enable hospitals and clinics nationwide have EHR technology. However, the smaller clinics are skeptical if
- Shaun | Healthy Living – Thu, Mar 3, 2011 12:03 PM EST
Health Insurance Exchange is a term that most residents are familiar with by now. Commonly known as an insurance market place and initially open to only individuals and small businesses, these Exchanges have four major functions:Read More »from A Look at How Exchanges will Change the Health Insurance Sector
a) Promote choice and competition
b) Provide information and promote transparency
c) Ensure affordable coverage, especially to the low-income population
d) Make health reforms more effective
Here is a look at how the Exchange will go about achieving these functions.
Promote choice and competition: The Exchange will encourage competition among the health insurance companies and thus more choices for the residents by allowing more and more companies to participate in the Exchange. Since the online platform will open the floodgates for the uninsured population, these companies will try to outdo each other by offering health plans at competitive rates. It is also mandated by the federal government that the companies will have to display their cheapest plan
- Shaun | Healthy Living – Fri, Feb 25, 2011 2:02 PM EST
The federal health reforms make it compulsory for the every resident to have a health plan. It also makes it mandatory for each state to have its own health benefit Exchange which will serve as an online insurance marketplace. So how will these health Exchanges help these uninsured residents to access medical coverage?Read More »from What Does the Health Exchange Have in Store For the Uninsured?
For long, finding affordable and suitable health plans has been the biggest headache for the residents. This is where a regulated marketplace comes to rescue. Not only are the cheapest plans available on the exchange, but 80% of the premium dollars on each plan is spent on facilitating healthcare. The Exchange is also home to all the government sponsored policies as well. A quote comparison across plans and companies ensures that the residents have access to the most affordable medical policy.
The health Exchange is also the best place to find the most authentic information about plans, insurance companies, eligibility, navigators and even the Exchange. Most often,
Health Exchanges, or the Health Benefit Exchange as they are officially known, are a crucial part of the federal health reforms. These Exchanges are online health insurance marketplaces. Each policy sold through the Exchange should adhere to all the norms set by the People Protection and Affordable Care Act. Initially the Exchange would only be open to individuals and small firms looking for group coverage for their employees.Read More »from The Pros and Cons of Health Exchanges
The Exchange will have the following main functions:
- Make the cheapest health plans accessible to the residents
- Provide transparent and authentic information about health plans and Exchanges
- Ensure that all plans are in accordance with the new federal health reforms
- Encourage healthy competition among the health insurance company that will lead to consumers getting the best value for their money
- Play a key role in the effective implementation of the People Protection and Affordable Care Act
The biggest advantage of a health Insurance Exchange is
- Shaun | Healthy Living – Mon, Feb 21, 2011 11:42 AM EST
Small Business Health Option Plans (SHOP) is a part of the health insurance Exchange that allows small business firms to purchase group coverage for their employees. Since most American citizen prefer to access coverage at work, SHOP is a step by the federal government to encourage small firms to provide group coverage to their workers.Read More »from SHOP: The Health Exchange Platform for Small Businesses
SHOP will provide tax credits to those companies that provide health insurance to their employees. The exact amount of tax relief will depend on the amount of premium contribution by the company and the size of the company. However, the employer has to pay a minimum of 60% of the expenses to be eligible for these tax credits. The available credits are:
- $1000 for each employee who receives self-only coverage
- $2000 for every employee who receives family coverage
- $1,500 for each employee who receives health insurance coverage for 2 adults or 1 adult and 1 or more children through the employer
Bonus tax credits will be available to those who go
The Whitehouse defines a health Exchange as a 'marketplace that will offer affordable high-quality health insurance options. It will provide relief to families who have no insurance or do not get adequate insurance at work and cannot afford to buy it in the costly individual or small group market. It is also for small businesses that cannot afford small group health insurance. It is one-stop shopping that will enable you and your family to find a plan that is right for you.'Read More »from Functions of a State Health Insurance Exchange
This sums up the basic purpose behind establishing a health Exchange. However providing affordable healthcare is not the only reasons why millions of dollars are being invested in these state based online platforms. The Exchange will have several other functions as well, each of which is a step towards bringing more regulations to the health insurance sector.
The functions of a state health insurance will include:
1. Foster competition among the insurers that will ensure that it is the consumers who get the best
- Shaun | Healthy Living – Thu, Feb 17, 2011 7:53 AM EST
Though functionality of the health Exchange will be initially limited, nonetheless it will provide health insurance solutions to wide range of residents in the state. The online platform will open its doors to citizens looking for individual or group health plans and small business firms wanting group coverage for their employees.Read More »from Health Insurance Solutions Available on the State Exchange
Health insurance solutions that are available through the insurance Exchange include medical plans for individual, families, group and group coverage for the employees of small business firms. Only those insurance companies that follow the federal guidelines and spend a minimum of 80% of their premium dollars on providing healthcare will be allowed to sell their products through the Exchange.
The platform for individuals will host health plans for individuals, families and small groups. Residents will be able to check the various options online, compare plans across health insurance companies and buy their health plans directly from the company. E-apps will
President Barrack Obama while explaining the concept of health insurance Exchange stated that it would be, "a market where Americans can one-stop shop for a health care plan, compare benefits and prices, and choose the plan that's best for them, in the same way that Members of Congress and their families can. None of these plans should deny coverage on the basis of a preexisting condition, and all of these plans should include an affordable basic benefit package that includes prevention, and protection against catastrophic costs. I strongly believe that Americans should have the choice of a public health insurance option operating alongside private plans. This will give them a better range of choices, make the health care market more competitive, and keep insurance companies honest."Read More »from The Drawbacks of State Health Exchanges
Though that encapsulates everything good about these Exchanges, these state based online health insurance platforms are not without their drawbacks.
To begin with, these online Exchanges have no
One of the key features of the healthcare reforms is the formation of the Health Insurance Exchange. An Exchange is an insurance market place which provides a platform for the direct interaction between the insurance companies and the residents.Read More »from A Look At The State Health Insurance Exchange
A health Exchange will have to follow the guidelines mandated by the federal government to be eligible for the federal funds. Some of these guidelines include:
- Ensuring that every plan displayed on the Exchange is in accordance with the federal and state regulations
- Ask insurers to justify rate hikes and suspend companies and suspend companies whose justification seems unreasonable
- Provide resources and the internet to those who do not have access so that they know more about the Exchange and the health insurance plans being sold on it
- A 24*7 call center that can answer the queries of residents, brokers, navigators and health insurance companies
- The use of standard form , definition and marketing materials
The Exchange will