How Can I Get the Most from My Plan Health Insurance? 

How Can I Get the Most from My Plan?

You will get the best care if you:

Stay Informed

  • Read your health insurance policy and member handbook. Make sure you understand them, especially the information on benefits, coverage, and limits. Sales materials or plan summaries cannot give you the full picture.
  • See if your plan has a magazine or newsletter. It can be a good source of information on how the plan works and on important policies that affect your care.
  • Talk to your health benefits officer at work to learn more about your policy.
  • Ask how the plan will notify you of changes in the network of providers or covered services while you are part of the plan.

Take Read More

How Do I Find Out About Quality Health Insurance?

How Do I Find Out About Quality?

Quality is hard to measure, but more and more information is becoming available. There are certain things you can look for and questions you can ask. Whatever kind of plan you are considering, you can check out individual doctors and hospitals.

Many managed care plans are regulated by Federal and State agencies. Indemnity plans are regulated by State insurance commissions. Your State Department of Health or insurance commission can tell you about any plan you are interested in.

You can also find out if the managed care plan you are interested in has been “accredited,” meaning that it meets certain standards of independent organizations. Some States require accreditation if plans serve special groups, … Read More

What Plan Benefits Are Offered?

What Plan Benefits Are Offered?

Most plans provide basic medical coverage, but the details are what counts. The best plan for someone else may not be the best plan for you. For each plan you are considering, find out how it handles:

  • Physical exams and health screenings.
  • Care by specialists.
  • Hospitalization and emergency care.
  • Prescription drugs.
  • Vision care.
  • Dental services.

Also ask about:

  • Care and counseling for mental health.
  • Services for drug and alcohol abuse.
  • Obstetrical-gynecological care and family planning services.
  • Ongoing care for chronic (long-term) diseases, conditions, or disabilities.
  • Physical therapy and other rehabilitative care.
  • Home health, nursing home, and hospice care.
  • Chiropractic or alternative health care, such as acupuncture.
  • Experimental treatments.

Some plans offer members health education and … Read More

Retirement Planning Part 2

Estate planning
Concepts included on this site dealing with federal estate tax issues may not be the most acceptable or best solutions to your situation. You should consult your attorney for advice on your particular situation.

On June 7, 2001, the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act was signed by President Bush, bringing many changes over the next decade. Effective January 1, 2002, federal estate taxes will be steadily reduced and eventually abolished in 2010. Without further congressional action, however, the law as it existed in 2001 comes back into effect for 2011 and thereafter.

Estate Planning involves developing a “plan” that will accomplish the goals and objectives of an estate owner while living and at death. These goals … Read More

Retirement Planning Part 1

Retirement Planning
Deciding how much money you need for retirement is a highly personal calculation. It depends on any number of factors, from your current lifestyle to your general state of health to whether you plan to retire early. That’s why we’ve designed this set of five interactive worksheets to let you tailor your estimate to your own circumstances. Be forewarned: These worksheets will take some time to complete. But when you’re done, you’ll have a dependable estimate of

  • How much annual retirement income you’ll need.
  • How much you can count on from your pension and Social Security benefits.
  • What your total nest egg must be, and
  • How much you need to put away this year to begin to reach
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