Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Opportunity in the Health Insurance Crisis

There's no two ways about it – health insurance coverage in America today leaves a lot to be desired.

But it’s really an opportunity. Whether you are uncovered, under-covered or surprised by what treatments aren’t covered, three key advantages remain:

1) Tax-free treatment. Ask your employer about setting up a flexible spending account. This program lets you stash away a little bit of your pay with each check. It’s automatically deducted so you won’t even miss it. That accumulating cash can be used for a variety of medical expenses – even those that aren’t covered by insurance. The best part: those dollars are all yours – tax-free.

2) Choose who’s right for you. Since you’re not limited to the short list of practitioners that would be covered by an insurance policy, that leaves a lot of options open to you. Ask for referrals and see the doctor you really want to see. When you collaborate with a healthcare professional that you really click with, your health benefits truly improve.

3) Pay what you can pay. Most practitioners offer flexible payment plans. Maybe you pay for a single treatment in several installments or pay for ongoing treatments as they are performed rather than up front. Some doctors even partner with outside financing companies that offer more sophisticated payment options. If you are able to pay in full before your treatment, request a pre-pay discount.

What are you waiting for? Get that ache checked out, that spot looked at, that cosmetic dream realized. Go ahead and set up the appointment you’ve been meaning to – now’s the time to do it!