03 May 2018

Does Health Insurance Cover Abortions?

Does Health Insurance Cover Abortions?

 

Abortion is a contentious issue in this country, as many Americans view this procedure as murder or infanticide. In fact, the state of Iowa just passed one of the strictest anti-abortion laws in the western world. Under this new rule, doctors cannot perform an abortion on a woman that’s more than six weeks pregnant.

Furthermore, some women have to pay out-of-pocket for this procedure. So today, we’re going to explore whether abortion is covered under your health insurance plan.

Health Insurance

Are you wondering whether your health insurance covers the cost of an abortion? Well, it entirely depends on where you live. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 43 states currently prohibit abortions unless it’s medically necessary, while “45 states allow individual health care providers to refuse to participate in an abortion.”

We always recommend checking the SBC, otherwise known as the Summary of Benefits and Coverage. In states like California and New York, major health insurance companies do cover elective abortions.

What Is An Abortion?

Human beings have performed abortions since ancient times, and it typically involves removing the embryo from a woman’s uterus or taking a form of medicine to terminate the pregnancy. The earliest records demonstrate that the ancient Egyptians used a paste made from crocodile feces as an abortifacient medicine.

Nowadays, modern technology has allowed doctors to pioneer new methods that don’t involve a scalpel. This means the threat of complications has vastly decreased, and women leave the doctor’s office one hour after the procedure.

Pregnancy Terms

Most abortions in the western world take place during the beginning stages of the pregnancy during the first trimester. Once a woman enters the second trimester, it’s much more difficult to perform an abortion because the embryo has developed into a fetus. Therefore, if you’re thinking about undergoing this procedure, it’s essential to contact a medical professional early on in the pregnancy.

The Future

It’s difficult to gauge whether the current attitude towards abortion will change over the next decade. Many institutions like Planned Parenthood are threatened on both a microscopic and macroscopic level. For example, President Donald Trump recently signed a bill that “allows states to withhold federal money from organizations that provide abortion services.” This political decision would undermine several national organizations that provide abortion services.

On a micro level, reports have surfaced over the years showing numerous attacks on local abortion clinics. This includes an attack on a Colorado Springs facility in 2015 that resulted in the death of one police officer and two civilians.

HealthQuoteInfo

Regardless of your opinion on abortion, it’s important to consult with your insurance company to find out if this kind of treatment is covered. If you’re looking for more information, feel free to reach out to our agents at 855-614-5057.

02 May 2018

Does Health Insurance Typically Cover Vasectomy Procedures?

Does Health Insurance Typically Cover Vasectomy Procedures?

A vasectomy is an innovative form of birth control that’s quick and virtually painless. The procedure was invented in China during the 1970s, and it quickly gained popularity across the globe, particularly here in North America. So today, we’re going to explore this form of birth control and discuss whether your insurance typically covers it.

What Is A Vasectomy?

Many men get uncomfortable when discussing vasectomies. There’s this misconception that the procedure involves a lot of pain and affects their “manliness,” but this couldn’t be further from the truth. New practices and technology have led to the creation of non-scalpel vasectomies, which are quick and virtually painless.

What does it entail? A urologist will locally anesthetize the groin area and will make a small opening to expose the vas deferens, a passageway that carries sperm to the urethra. The doctor then snips the vas deferens and cauterizes area to ensure the man is entirely sterile.

The entire operation takes less than 20 minutes (in most cases), and the patient remains conscious during the entire period. Most men leave the doctor’s office an hour after the procedure, and there’s relatively no downtime regarding recovery.

According to the American Journal of Public Health, a vasectomy is more cost-effective and provides fewer complications compared to tubal ligation and other forms of birth control. The reason why vasectomy numbers are still figuratively low compared to other methods is that there’s still a strong stigma surrounding the procedure. Although the numbers are on the rise, particularly in countries like New Zealand, Canada, and England.

Will My Insurance Cover The Cost Of A Vasectomy?

The Affordable Care states that birth control must be covered by insurance companies, but this does not include vasectomies. But specific plans do fully or partially cover the cost, so it’s always wise to check the SBC, otherwise known as the Summary of Benefits and Coverage. This document can be accessed at any time for free from your provider, and a new one is routinely sent during the Open Enrollment Period.

If you’ve got to pay out-of-pocket for the procedure, it typically costs between $500 and $1000, which is relatively affordable, especially since it’s a one-time operation with little downtime.

Does It Affect Your Sex Life?

After the recovery period (which is typically a few weeks), most men can resume regular sexual activity. Some men report a tiny bit of blood when they ejaculate for the first time, but this is entirely normal and subsides after a few days.

Overall, a vasectomy is an excellent form of permanent birth control. If you’re thinking about getting this procedure, but you’re not sure about your insurance policy, check out our website. If you have any questions, feel free to call one of our trained agents at 855-614-5057.

01 May 2018

Does My Health Insurance Cover Viagra?

Does My Health Insurance Cover Viagra?

The FDA approved Viagra in 1998, and it quickly became a popular prescription medication used by millions of men on a global scale. Although effective, the drug remains expensive and is rarely covered by health insurance plans. In this article, we will discuss the complexities surrounding viagra.

As a natural part of ageing, erectile dysfunction is common and affects more than 30 million men in the US. Viagra is a well-known medication to treat this issue. A single pill can increase the blood flow to the penis and restore the ability to achieve an erection.

Coverage Of The Treatment

Many insurance companies list the drug as a non-essential medication. Although, you can find HMO (health maintenance organization) plans partially cover the cost of the medicine. The only downside is that you’ll typically experience a high co-pay. In certain situations, Viagra can be covered entirely by your insurance if your doctor can prove it’s medically necessary.

Cost Without Insurance

As a result, most men pay for the treatment out of their pocket. Unfortunately, this erectile dysfunction drug is expensive. On average, a pill is priced between $10 to $24, but many can’t afford to take one every time they have intercourse. Instead of letting it affect their sexual life, they turn to alternatives.

Viagra comes in a range of different doses, with four tablets per packets. Many men cut the pill in half or quarters depending on what works for them.  

Alternatives

Other treatments are on the market, but they are not always as effective as Viagra. However, generic versions of the medication exist. Among those, two drugs, Vardenafil (Levitra) and Tadalafil (Cialis), have been approved to treat erectile dysfunction.

You shouldn’t buy on the internet without the advice of your physician.  Cheap Viagra pills, no matter how real they look, are most likely fake. They can cause permanent side effects and can endanger your health. The issue is real as the American market is overflowing with counterfeit drugs.

If you want to know whether your insurance company covers Viagra, check your “insurer’s formulary.” You can see the list of drugs covered by your plan and at what rate.

Erectile dysfunction is still a taboo subject, and many men aren’t comfortable talking about it. Luckily this medical condition is treatable under medical supervision. If you have any questions or concerns about health insurance coverage for erectile dysfunction, give our agents a call at 855-614-5057 or visit our website.

14 Mar 2018

Will Republicans Repeal Obamacare?

Will Republicans Repeal Obamacare?

The 2016 presidential election brought sweeping changes to the country, as the GOP gained a majority in both chambers of Congress. President Trump even said last year “I thought that when I won I would go to the Oval Office, sit down at my desk, and there would be a health care bill on my desk, to be honest.”

This statement couldn’t be further from the truth, as several failed attempts in Congress yielded no concrete results. So today, we’re going to explore whether Republicans will repeal and replace Obamacare.

Understanding The Political Landscape

Before we dive into this topic, it’s important to know how politics work in this country. Firstly, Congress is divided into two chambers, the House of Representatives and the Senate.

The former is comprised of 435 voting members from across the nation, and the goal of this chamber is to propose bills that are then approved by the Senate. The Republicans currently control the House with 238 seats.

On the other hand, the Senate is referred to as the upper chamber, and 100 Senators elected from each state form it. The role of this chamber is to approve legislation that comes from the House. The GOP also controls the Senate with 51 seats.

To add another layer to the mix, the President has the power to veto laws passed by Congress and can use his power to propose legislation to the House of Representatives. The President can also pass laws through executive orders, although these could be countered via the court system. This political system acts like a well-oiled machine, with checks and balances to ensure no individual has absolute power. But how does that apply to health insurance?

Republican Domination & Disparity

The Republicans now control both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Over the last 14 months, there have been several attempts to repeal, replace, or modify the Affordable Care Act, but each proposal has been defeated in the Senate. Health insurance is a divisive topic in this country, and even senior Republicans are divided on how to proceed.

The “Skinny Repeal”

After several attempts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, House majority leader Mitch McConnell proposed what critics called “a skinny repeal” in Summer 2017. This would keep the fundamental pillars of Obamacare, but a report by the Congressional Budget Office indicated this proposal would increase the number of uninsured Americans to 15 million over the next year.

The debate reached a breaking point on July 27, 2017, in the early hours of the morning when Republican Senator John McCain struck down the proposal during a dramatic vote. McCain along with fellow Republicans Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) stated they couldn’t support a bill that could potentially leave millions without coverage. So it was back to the drawing board.

The Graham-Cassidy Bill

Fast-forward to September 2017 and Sen. Lindsey Graham (South Carolina) and Bill Cassidy (Louisiana) sponsored a bill to repeal Obamacare. The proposal made headlines across the country because it planned on shaking up America’s health insurance system.

One of the controversial aspects of the bill included a cap on Medicaid funding and a redistribution of funds across all 50 states. Several critics saw this as an attack on the country’s poorest individuals. The bill didn’t even make it to a vote as Lindsey Graham announced he would be abandoning the bill in late September.

Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments

President Trump halted something called cost-sharing reduction payments (also known as CSRs) in October 2017. We’ve touched on this topic before here at HealthQuoteInfo, but we’re going to explain things again in detail.

CSRs were monthly payments made by the Obama Administration to several insurance companies across the country. The funds were worth billions of dollars, and they substantially reduced the premiums of ACA plans and made them affordable. Since President Trump announced his decision, premiums have increased across the board. Insurance companies were forced to increase the cost of premiums to compensate for the lack of funding.

This tactic is a way of undermining the Affordable Care Act without going through Congress. It doesn’t fully repeal the bill, but it causes a domino effect that results in fewer Americans enrolling in this program.

Trump’s New Proposal

Considering it’s hard to pass a new repeal-and-replace bill through Congress, Trump came up with a new proposal last month. The Department of Health and Safety announced they would be extending short-term insurance plans from the traditional three-month period, to 364 days.

This proposal would serve as direct competition to Obamacare plans, and experts suggest many young individuals would be enticed by these plans. Although nothing is set in stone yet, this is another attempt to partially dismantle the ACA.

The Future

Here at HealthQuoteInfo, we try to look at things from a practical and logical point of view. The Affordable Care Act has created deep divisions amongst the GOP, and it’s unclear if they’ll repeal and replace it in the future. However, the President Trump can continue to undermine the program, and many experts predict this will impact enrollment figures.

This subject is complicated but if you have any questions or concerns about health insurance, give our agents a call at 855-614-5057 or visit our website.

06 Mar 2018

Trump Creates A New Obamacare Alternative

Trump Creates A New Obamacare Alternative

Last month, the Trump administration proposed a new alternative to the Affordable Care Act. The news sent shockwaves across the country, as many experts began to discuss how this decision would impact millions of Americans. So today, we’re going to take a closer look at this announcement and deconstruct the headline.

What is this new alternative?

On February 20, the Department of Health and Safety announced a new proposal to extend the duration of short-term insurance plans to 364 days. Americans could then bypass the federal or state-based marketplaces and purchase a plan that virtually lasts an entire year.

Under the current model, short-term insurance plans only last up to 90 days. They tend to attract young Americans who don’t have pre-existing conditions and provide what many experts call “gap coverage,” meaning it’s not viewed as a long-term solution.

Projected effects

As previously mentioned, this proposal bypasses Obamacare, which means that insurance companies can discriminate against applicants with pre-existing conditions.

Before the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies could reject applicants if they battled a severe illness in the past. For example, a middle-aged woman who conquered breast cancer 10 years ago could get her health insurance application rejected. This is because insurers view this woman as a liability because her cancer may return, and that would be costly for the company.

Impact on Obamacare

It’s no secret that Obamacare premiums have increased dramatically over the years, meaning the Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable or accessible. Coupled with the President’s decision to slash the marketing budget of the bill by 90 percent, the future doesn’t look too bright.

These extended short-term plans would attract millions of young, healthy Americans away from Obamacare plans because they’re a lot cheaper. As a result, a disproportionate amount of unhealthy individuals would remain using ACA plans, therefore driving up the price of premiums.

Disadvantages of short-term plans

Also, short-term plans are different from annual plans when it comes to coverage. The former doesn’t provide mental, maternity, prescription drug or preventative care.

Short-term plans differ from annual plans in terms of coverage. The former does not cover preventative, maternity, mental health, and prescription drug coverage, meaning you’ll still have to pay out of pocket. According to CNN, these plans can also come with annual or lifetime limits, which is capped at $1 million. So if you exceed this maximum, the insurance company will force you to pay the outstanding balance.

It’s clear the health insurance landscape is changing rapidly in this country, and short-term health insurance plans seem like an interesting alternative. If you’re thinking about purchasing one of these plans, give one of our agents a call at 855-614-5057 or visit HealthQuoteInfo.com.

01 Mar 2018

What Is Universal Health Care?

What Is Universal Health Care?

As Obamacare premiums continue to rise, more Americans are talking about something called universal health care (abbreviated as UHC). This concept has been implemented in more than 50 countries around the world. But what is this system and how does it differ from the American model? Today, we’re going to explore this topic and dive into the details.

What Is UHC Exactly?

According to the World Health Organization, UHC provides “promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative health services” to citizens and legal residents of a given country. This means they can go to the doctor’s office without having to pay a hefty bill at the end of their visit.

Here’s a list of countries that have UHC, according to Nasdaq:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahrain
  • Belgium
  • Brunei
  • Canada
  • Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Kuwait
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Singapore
  • Slovenia
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom

How can these countries afford universal health care? Well, several nations including Canada and France fund their programs by collecting money through income taxes based on a stratified system. This means high-income earners pay more compared to low-income individuals.

Obamacare Is Not The Same As Universal Health Care

When the Affordable Care Act was enacted in 2010, many Americans thought this was President Obama’s idea of implementing UHC. This couldn’t be further from the truth. As the name of the bill suggests, the objective of the ACA was to provide Americans access to affordable health insurance plans. It also put an end to discriminatory practices that insurance companies employed against those with pre-existing conditions. The ACA, however, does not provide universal health coverage to all Americans, which is why the US is not on the list above.

Will The US Ever Implement UHC?

It’s quite unlikely. Most Americans view universal health care as a product of Western European socialism. According to an article in The Conversation, Americans “have a strong belief in classical liberalism and the idea that the government should play a limited role in society.”

Last fall, Senator Bernie Sanders unveiled a plan that would introduce UHC under a single system to nearly 323 million Americans. The bill also had the backing of 15 Democrats, yet faced staunch opposition from fellow politicians and the media, proving the country isn’t ready to accept this concept.

Whether you’re for or against UHC, it’s crucial we continue to talk about the issue of affordable health coverage in this country. If you’re looking to purchase a plan or have any questions, feel free to contact one of our agents at 855-614-5057 or visit our website.