Health Insurance Companies under pressure to manage premium increases

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Many states will receive federal grant to improve oversight of proposed increases in health insurance premiums and to act against insurers seeking unreasonable rate hikes, says U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. This is part of the $250 million the states will receive from Obamacare over the next five years to bolster their review of proposed health insurance premium increases.

The goal for this money is to help provide better quality healthcare for Americans across the board. Top three items are: Improve the Review Process, Make More Information Publicly Available, and Develop and Upgrade Technology.

These all sound like great plans, but at what cost do they come? With the economy impacting more Americans than ever before it sounds great to have a lower cost of health insurance, or even free health insurance.

We all know nothing is free when it comes to healthcare, someone is going to pay the bill and we all know that is the tax payers. So let’s be fair, and call a spade a spade.

Let’s hope the Develop and Upgrade Technology includes some systems or process that will keep cost under control. And provide for some sort of watchdog system for fraudulent and frivolous spending at all levels of health care.

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Most people think that is already in place, but when speaking to a senior just last week she tried to find out why she was being charged $120.00 a month for a wheelchair she does not even use? She was told that it has been on her Medicare Bill for over 24 months. That's right. Almost $3000.00 for a wheel chair she does not even use. When she went to call the company that delivered the chair, she was told it was paid for and not to worry about it. So even if a consumer wants to help reduce the overall cost of healthcare and do their part they can’t in a broken system.

Maybe some of the technology will be used to figure out how to provide hospitals less expensive Q-Tips, as one patient recently stated on her bill the government paid hundreds of dollars for Q-tips, cleanex, cotton-balls and the like. This senior went on to say that she could of bought it all at the dollar store for under $5.00.

To make health insurance affordable find out why it's expensive

Instead of watching how much the insurance companies charge, maybe we should figure out why the expense is so high in the first place. Fix the root of the problem to make it affordable, instead of putting a band aid on it.

Crazy idea to help the health care crisis: Incentivize patients to turn in all fraudulent claims, or services billed that the patient never received and every one that results in a savings pay them a crimestopper bonus and then fine the organization that over-billed or overcharged to cover the cost. I but you would see millions in reduction overnight.

I don’t think the healthcare problem can be fixed overnight, nor do I think the government is the one who should be doing it. It should be the American people, taking control of this expense just like every other expense in their life and letting the fair market system work its course. Just like any other business, if you do good customers keep coming back to you. If you do bad, they take their business somewhere else. WHY can’t that work for doctors, healthcare providers and hospitals?

If you do not think you are part of the problem, just ask yourself this one question. When was the last time you asked you doctor or hospital, how much does that cost? If you can remember the last time you did that, you may be a part of the problem.

Written by Jeff Cline: a family health insurance agent.

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