Its seems that we are hearing a lot lately about how the economy is recovering. That's great news. But why is health insurance still so expensive? Even the Obamacare coverage is still out of reach for so many people. A typical monthly payment for many families is between $500 and $700. And deductibles can be a staggering $5000. So is your traditional health insurance really paying anything for you at all? $500 a month translates to $6000 a year, with a $5000 deductible.
That further translates to spending possibly over $11,000 before your insurance company starts paying anything for you. Unless you're pretty sick, who really spends more than $11,000 a year on healthcare?And that's just one year. In five years, you've given the insurance company $30,000 and they don't have to pay for anything until you've spent $25,000 on medical bills.
Is there a better way to take care of your family's healthcare needs without having to spend a fortune on health insurance? Maybe. Millions of people are taking the Healthcare Discount Card route. The idea is that instead of having to pay enormous monthly premiums for health insurance when you get sick, why not pay a small monthly payment to a Discount Card company that allows you to receive benefits from medical providers a lot cheaper. Healthcare Discount Cards are not insurance.
The companies that offer healthcare discount cards have negotiated with medical providers to offer their services to people a lot cheaper, sometimes even between 50% and 80% cheaper. What you should know is that insurance companies do the same thing with providers, but they don't pass the results of that savings on to you -they get the discount.
In actuality, providers like doctors and hospitals are accustomed to
only receiving about half of what they bill for services anyway. Most major medical insurance companies have contracted with hospitals and doctors to only pay between 30% and 50% of the original amount billed. So in essence, insurance companies are carrying a "discount card" in their "pockets". And apparently, they are making enough money off of you to stay in business while you are struggling to pay their premiums.
So when you are insured with an insurance company, you pay them a huge monthly payment so they can pay only half of your doctor bill and then the medical providers right off the rest. Even Medicare and Medicaid has contracted with most providers to pay only about half of what has been billed for the services you received. The only people that actually pay full price for medical services is the self-pay person with no discount card. Does this make sense to you?
Healthcare Discount Cards are basically a means of making self-insurance affordable. Instead of giving the insurance companies the discount, providers have agreed to give it to you, the self-payer. And since you are not paying huge monthly premiums to insurance companies, you can afford better to pay medical bills as you go, especially when they are highly discounted.
Wouldn't it be nice if providers just simply charged 50% less to everyone for services they provide? Absolutely, but that's not likely to ever happen, because as long as there are self-payers out there that feel forced to pay astronomical amounts for services they receive, doctors and hospitals will keep charging huge amounts. So how do you choose a good Healthcare Discount Card?
They are literally hundreds of them out there. You need to be careful and cautious when choosing a healthcare discount card, because there are some fraudulent ones out there. A reputable healthcare discount card will always plainly state in clear sight that is it not insurance. Look for a company that has been in business for many years. Check the Better Business Bureau for a company's rating. Ask lots of questions before purchasing a healthcare discount card. Remember that you get what you pay for. Some are very cheap or even free, but the discount savings may only be 10%.
Ask your sales person to explain clearly what all the benefits of the card are. It's also a good idea to get on that company's website and check their list of providers to see how many local medical providers there are on that list. You don't want a healthcare discount card that no one locally accepts. Ask about hidden fees. It's typical for healthcare discount card companies to charge a monthly fee for the use of their card as well as an annual membership fee.
Ameriplan is one healthcare discount card that has an A+ rating with the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and has been in business for 23 years. It has been featured on 60 minutes and ABC news' Good Morning America as a reputable company. The most expensive plan they have costs only $99 a month for the entire household and covers medical, dental, vision, prescriptions, chiropractic, wellness, legal services, identity theft protection and an auto club plan. It also offers huge discounts on restaurants, theaters, hotels, travel, shopping and other entertainment, business/technology and it has in its network over 400,000 providers nationwide.
The legal services part has over 20,000 participating lawyers. The auto plan has over 16,000 participating auto repair stations. There is an annual $40 membership fee, but the best part of this plan is what they call the AmeriDoc service. This is where you can call a doctor over the phone anytime, even in the middle of the night and get a consultation or a diagnosis and he will even call you in a prescription if you need one. There is no need to spend hours waiting in a doctor's office for a routine type of illness.
Ameriplan's hospital advocacy program lets you use any hospital of your choice and when you receive your bill, an advocate will negotiate with that hospital for up to an 80% reduction in your bill and will even negotiate payment arrangements for the remainder of what you owe. In many cases, this is a significantly higher savings than what a major medical plan would have to offer you.
Since this is not insurance, there is no waiting period. Benefits begin immediately. Ameriplan reports that individuals have called their company while they were sitting in a dentist chair and signed up to save on that very visit to the dentist. Many customers have claimed that the card literally paid for itself every month in the savings they received from things that they normally have to purchase every day.
ProVantage is another healthcare discount card, but this card offers only group benefits to employees. They offer similar services such as medical, dental, vision, chiropractic, prescriptions and entertainment discounts. You can only sign up for this discount card through your employer, so you can ask him/her if he/she offers a group healthcare discount card such as ProVantage. The monthly fee for each employee is $29.95 per month. Employers have the option of paying for part or all the monthly charge for these healthcare discount cards. This gives employers something to offer potential employees instead of the very high cost of offering insurance benefits.
If you can afford health insurance premiums and the out of pocket costs such as copays and deductibles, then this is the best way to go. However, if you're like most people who are struggling in an apparently recovering economy, you might consider the option of purchasing a healthcare discount card as a way to protect your family's health.
Ameriplan Healthcare Discount Card
If you are an insurance agent that sells group health insurance benefits and would like to offer ProVantage Healthcare Discount Card benefits to the businesses you already service, please visit this website: