Healthcare Reform Teaches Financial Responsibility 2015
As I listen to people grumble and complain about their health insurance plans due to the recent changes of healthcare reform; the percentage of individuals complaining the most are middle wage income earners whose incomes exceed $40,000.00 a year or higher. Many of these individuals who fall between these income guidelines are not eligible for a tax credit or what is also known as a subsidy. The value people place on their material wealth rather than their own health and well-being is astonishing. These new guidelines have made all of us realize the importance of managing our finances more wisely. Why do people place a higher value on things, rather than on themselves? In the sight of God; we are more valuable than anything in our possession; yet, we value little when it comes to insuring our own lives with the right mix of financial products to protect our material wealth and overall health and well-being.
The challenge many people face today is the fact that overall, they may be healthy individuals and do not see the need for coverage or understand the reasoning behind why he or she has to pay higher monthly premiums. Though I agree premiums are high for the individual market; the total protection insurance provides does not compare if someone had a catastrophic event happen in their lives. People focus on four main parts of their health insurance plan; the four parts are: the deductible, co-insurance, co-payment, and their monthly premium.
Although these four elements are important in general; a person should tailor their plan based on their individual needs rather than being focused on these elements. For example; for someone whose on prescription medicines on a regular basis, he or she needs to have a co-pay prescription drug benefit with their plan so their prescription medicines can be paid for with a minimum dollar amount for their medications; rather than having a plan based solely on their deductible, where first they would have to meet the deductible before the percentage of their co-insurance kicks in. In my previous articles on healthcare reform, I stated how we must educate ourselves to better understand these new laws and guidelines. The prescription drug benefit is one of the ten essential benefits that is included with every plan sold today under healthcare reform.
One specific benefit most consumer do not understand is what is known as the out-of-pocket-maximum. (OOPM) This simply limits how much money a person would pay out in any calendar year if he or she had medical expenses exceeding $6,350 as of 2014. These limits will change accordingly. In 2015, the out of pocket maximum on cost sharing is: $6,600 for an individual (up from $6,350 in 2014) and $13,200 will be the amount of coverage for a family (up from $12,700 in 2014).
These limitations helps protects your household income and limit your financial losses in the event you had a major illness, or if you found yourself or family member being hospitalized over an extended period of time. We all need to understand that insurance is to protect us all from financial losses and as individuals we are more valuable than the materialism we have in our possession. Your material wealth including but not limited to: your home, car, boat, or any other material thing that cost you money to maintain, does not compare to your overall health and well-being. Keep yourself healthy in order to keep your medical expenses low and remember that insurance is in place to protect your wealth in the event of financial loss.