Posts tagged with "Health insurance"

Five Factors to Consider When Buying Super Top-Up Health Insurance

Planning to get a super top-up health insurance plan is a step in the right direction. However, if you want the best overall protection in terms of inflation, access to quality medical care, and rehabilitation, you must choose the right plan. With so many insurance companies offering super top up plans, how do you pick the best one for you?

In this article, we will look at a few factors that you should consider when buying a super top up health insurance policy! 

The Reputation of the Insurer

You should ideally start your search by narrowing it down to the best insurance service providers. Check customer reviews and look for telltale signs that give away how a service provider is fairing in terms of overall services being offered to existing policyholders.

Hospital Network of the Service Provider

The network of hospitals on an insurer’s network is of extreme significance. You need to compare which hospitals are covered under which insurer and choose the one that covers the best hospitals in your immediate vicinity. It doesn’t matter if they have the best healthcare providers if they are located far away. During an emergency, you need to have all nearby hospitals covered under the network to ensure timely medical attention.

Extent of Coverage

Check to see if the insurer has you covered for a plethora of diseases, including coverage of covid-19. Moreover, you also need to check if consumables are covered under the policy, and whether there are any caps on room rent. Choose a plan      with no caps on room rent      and doesn’t put a ceiling on how much you can claim for a particular procedure. In short, the extent of cover should be comprehensive enough to take care of all the expenses incurred during hospitalization

Claims Settlement Process

Check if the insurance service provider offering the super top-up health insurance uses a third party to settle claims or has an in-house team to settle claims. Always opt for the insurer with an in-house team as that guarantees a faster claims process and you don’t have to spend time running pillar to post in times of emergency. You need the entire process to be smooth, not complicated. So, check for this important criterion before choosing your insurance policy. 

Claims Settlement Ratio

This is by far one of the most important aspects that you need to check. Filing claims is one thing, but what’s the point if your claims are not honored      when you most need them. Compare the claims settlement ratio across insurance service providers when buying a top-     up Mediclaim plan. Lower claim settlement ratios should raise a red flag, whereas a higher percentage of claims settlement ratio should greenlight that insurance service provider. 

If you are looking for a top up Mediclaim policy to further strengthen your existing health policy, then care health insurance has one of the best super top-up plans that is designed to complement your existing policy and further strengthen it by offering exceptional benefits in the form of cashless hospitalization across 19000+ hospitals across the country; coverage for pre-and post-hospitalization expenses; no caps on room rent and coverage for both consumables and non-consumables, etc. Moreover, they have one of the highest claims settlement ratios of 95.2%, making them one of the most reliable insurance service providers, and with an in-house claims process team in place, there are no third parties involved ensuring the fastest turnaround times on your filed claims. 

Top-up Mediclaim policies are your shield against rising medical costs and inflation and guarantee access to the best  medical care. Moreover, they act as a saviour when the sum insured under your existing policy is exhausted and you need further cover to continue cashless treatment. So, get a top-up Mediclaim plan as soon as you can, keeping the points in mind we discussed so far, to choose the policy that’s the best fit for you! 

Basics for Young People to Know About Health Insurance

Health insurance is essential in case you ever need medical attention. It prevents you from paying for expensive services, such as hospitalization and surgery. Many people are provided coverage through their work or others by the government. However, understanding how this system works can be confusing for younger adults. So, here are a few basics you should know. 

1. How to Get Coverage 

The first step in understanding health insurance is knowing where to look. There are multiple ways you can receive coverage. If you’re under 26 years old, you can be on your parent’s plan, even if you’re married or not living with them. This can help you to receive coverage while you’re still getting settled. Suppose you’re attending school or still looking for a full-time job. You might not currently have employee benefits. 

Here are a few more plans to consider:

  • COBRA. COBRA is a short-term plan to prevent people from suddenly losing their coverage. It allows them to continue buying their current health plan for a limited time. 
  • Short-term policy. Some companies temporarily cover students between college and their first job. These plans are usually pretty basic and cost-effective.
  • Employer coverage: This is the most common and affordable option. Some offer coverage from the start and others need you to work for a certain amount of time.
  • Individual policy. Buying personal health insurance can be a more expensive option. You may pay more if you’re considered a higher-risk individual, such as being a smoker. 
  • The Health Insurance Marketplace. This option helps people choose the best insurance plan if they need to buy it independently. It’s also sometimes called a Health Insurance Exchange.

2. Mental Health Services Aren’t Always Well Covered 

Mental health conditions are a rising concern, especially after the pandemic. In 2008, the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act encouraged mental health benefits to be at the same level as physical ones. However, many plans still don’t provide adequate coverage. 

Often there aren’t enough in-network providers, leading to longer wait times and farther commutes. Another issue is there are restrictive standards that limit coverage. For example, some companies focus on treating acute symptoms rather than underlying ones. This makes it harder for people with a long-term mental illness to qualify. 

However, Biden addressed these concerns in a speech on March 1st, 2022. He proposed all health care plans cover mental health services with adequate network providers, including three behavioral health visits a year with no cost-sharing. 

3. How to Pay For Your Plan

After you’ve done your basic research, you want to understand finances. Figuring out how to pay for the policy is critical. The amount you pay depends on your specific plan. In fact, in 2020, annual premiums cost around $21,342 for a family of four. You pay a fixed rate each month for many programs, called a premium. You might also pay whenever you receive medical care or get a prescription refill. 

These payments include the following:

  • Deductible: A deductible is what you pay at the beginning of the year before the provider starts covering services. 
  • Copay: This is a set fee you pay after visiting a doctor or other medical services. 
  • Coinsurance: It’s the percentage you pay for specific covered services. 
  • Out-of-pocket maximum: This is the highest amount you have to pay within a given period for all covered services. 

4. How to Find the Right Individual Policy

If you can’t get insurance from an employer or a state-funded program, you must buy your own. When shopping, consider the cost of premiums and deductibles and the outside services. For example, can you visit any doctor or healthcare facility? Some plans may have lower premiums but fewer health care providers to choose from. Also, if you’re hoping to save money, look for a plan with a higher deductible you can use with a health savings account. 

These plans also have levels of coverage, including gold, silver, bronze or catastrophic. 

They vary in premium and out-of-pocket costs. So, if you have a medical condition and require multiple services, a gold plan may be best. However, a bronze or silver plan might work better if you only visit the doctor a few times a year. 

Once you choose your level, you want to pick a specific plan. Here are the main options you have to choose from:

  •  Indemnity Plans: On this plan, you can visit any doctor at any time. Then you pay them upfront and file the claim with your insurance company, which pays you back part of the cost. They often do not cover preventive care, like physicals, and have higher premiums. 
  • Managed Care Plans: Alot of employee coverage is managed care policies. The insurance company works with health care providers to offer low-cost care.  This plan also has four basic types: HMO, PPO, POS and EPO. 
  • Consumer-Driven Health Plan (CDHP): This is when you set aside money in a health insurance saving account. So, you’re in charge of how to handle the cash to pay for health care services. It does come with higher deductibles, though. 

5. A Plan Through Your University May Not Be Enough 

While this is an easy and cost-effective way to get insurance, it might not be enough. Keep in mind it may only cover services on campus. However, it might not be covered if you get an x-ray off-campus. 

Also, suppose something happens when you’re on break. Then your current plan might not cover outside providers. So, talk with your Health Center to see what exactly is covered. Some programs may offer services that require just a fee and others that need insurance. 

However, many schools require proof of health insurance. So, you can stay on your parent’s plan or a private one. Also, if you qualify as a low-income individual, you can receive Medicaid. 

6. Finding Affordable Programs

Some people may worry about the expenses associated with the plan. However, between tax credits and Medicaid, you can find affordable programs. If you apply for coverage through The Marketplace, you can see if you qualify for a premium tax credit. 

These credits are based on your local residence, household income and coverage level. If you’re eligible, apply the credit to your monthly premium. Then The Marketplace will send it directly to your insurance company. 

Also, consider subsidies for low-income consumers, reducing out-of-pocket costs. You must make a certain income level and be in a state that didn’t expand Medicaid to qualify. 

Health clipboard graphic via Rita Azar for use by 360 MAGAZINE

Medjet × FMCA

Medjet, the industry leader in air medical transport and crisis response memberships for travelers, has partnered with Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA), the leading association for RV owners, dealers, suppliers, manufacturers, campgrounds, service facilities and other firms servicing the RV owner or the RV industry, to help make RV travel safer. Medjet becomes the newest offering in FMCA’s RV Club Members-Only Benefits program, just as RV enthusiasts begin planning their 2022 travel roadmap. Medjet offers its members air medical transport to a home hospital of choice should they find themselves hospitalized more than 150 miles from their residence. FMCA members can save up to 20% on annual Medjet memberships.

“Over 10 million travelers are hospitalized abroad each year,” said Medjet CEO Mike Hallman. “Millions more while traveling domestically. Most health insurance, travel insurance and high-end credit card travel benefits will only evacuate someone to the ‘nearest adequate’ hospital. Medjet gets its members moved to a hospital at home, and we pay for the transport.”

While most people may only think about air medical transport protection programs for added safety while traveling internationally, Medjet has previously stated that almost 50% of its patient transfers each year involve members hospitalized domestically. “It can be just as frustrating to be stuck in an unfamiliar hospital three states away as it is to be stuck in one halfway around the world,” said Hallman.

With the COVID-19 pandemic curtailing international air travel in 2020 and 2021, many RV sales and rental entities, as well as RV share platforms and industry associations, reported record-breaking increases in RV vacationers in America. Many predict that more RV travelers will be out on the road in the spring and summer of 2022, as well.

“At FMCA, we educate, equip and empower RV owners,” said FMCA CEO Chris Smith. “With a lot of less experienced, first-time RVers hitting the road, and COVID still a factor, safety and back-up planning are more important than ever. Having a solid plan for how to handle a medical emergency is essential. We hope our members will take the time to learn about this great traveler protection membership and take advantage of the discounts we’ve arranged for them.”

About Medjet

Medjet is the industry leader in travel protection and medical transport, forging a global network of air medical transport affiliates and security providers over the past 30 years. Medjet is the traveler protection program-of-choice for AARP, the NFL, the five top luxury travel advisory consortia and numerous other well-respected organizations and corporations, offering both consumer and corporate/organizational membership programs. The company most notably differentiates from other players in the market through their commitment to arrange air medical transfer to the member’s home country hospital of choice (not just “nearest acceptable”), regardless of medical necessity. Similarly, unlike other travel security and response membership programs, the company’s MedjetHorizon option does not rely on hard triggers, such as government-issued evacuation orders, to act on behalf of members.

Health via 360 Magazine for use by 360 Magazine

Supplemental Health Care Coverage: Six Things to Know About Medigap Plans

Protecting yourself and your loved one with health insurance is essential, and there are lots of packages and options to consider.

Some people choose to go a step further with the help of supplemental health care coverage, which offers additional protection on top of what a standard plan includes.

Known as Medigap, this type of cover is increasingly popular, so here is a look at what it is, what is included and how you can take advantage of additional insurance yourself.

What is Medigap?

When you are looking to find a suitable Medicare plan, you might believe that the basic level of cover which is included across the board is not adequate for your needs.

This is where Medigap comes into play, letting you account for any inadequacies that you perceive in a Medicare policy with the help of private insurance providers.

In essence, this not only allows you to make claims in more healthcare scenarios, but should also reduce the amount owed in others. This should prevent you from being left out of pocket compared with if you just stuck with an entry level Medicare plan.

What do Medigap plans cover?

The type of coverage offered by Medigap insurance policies varies depending on the type of plan you select, of which there are a total of 12 different options that have been officially recognized by the government.

Because of this, you should research prospective plans closely to get a full idea of what is covered. It is better to talk about what is not covered by Medigap policies; specifically, things like long-term care for chronic illnesses, prescription drugs, as well as elements like dental treatments and optician services, are usually not included in such a plan.

Things that are included across the majority of plans are the costs of blood transfusions, the hospital costs incurred for an emergency visit, and the use of hospice services where relevant. Some plans also cover overseas medical costs that you incur while travelling, usually up to about 80% of the total bill.

How much can Medigap plans cost?

Medigap plans are purely supplemental, not a replacement for Medicare, so the cost needs to be calculated in addition to the existing insurance premiums you are already paying.

Once again, the price will also vary depending on the plan you pick, as well as your own circumstances, medical history and preferences. Your age also comes into play; those under 65 may either be ineligible for Medigap insurance, or might have to fork out more for the privilege.

Can I get an extension if I don’t use my plan?

With all of the variables involved, individual eligibility for plan extensions and exceptions can vary wildly on a case-by-case basis.

It is also worth noting that different states have different rules regarding Medigap plans and how they can be used.

How can I get help paying for Medigap?

Medigap premiums have to be covered by the customer, as this is an additional service that is not factored into Medicare itself, even if it operates alongside it.

If paying is a problem, you may be eligible for other forms of health insurance, such as via your employer.

How do I choose a plan?

Be sure to shop around for Medigap plans that are available in your area, as this market can be competitive. Prices may vary, but so long as the plan in question sticks to the government-approved standards, it should give you identical coverage regardless of the provider.

Also keep your own requirements in mind when looking for a plan, so that you can find the perfect package for you.

Vaughn Lowery illustration by Allison Christensen for his book Move Like Water x Be Fluid produced by 360 MAGAZINE

Move Like Water × Be Fluid

By Katrina Tiktinsky

Vaughn Lowery, founder and publisher of 360 MAGAZINE, pens poignant prose. Move Like Water × Be Fluid is a stunning memoir documenting the author’s journey from a childhood in the Detroit’s subsidized, section 8 housing to a successful career in fashion and media. The arc of this remarkable passage twists and turns in surprising ways, ensuring readers will believe in the concept that this life truly is what you make it. The text will debut as an exclusive multi-volume installation within 360 MAGAZINE and marks the inception of the brand’s foray into publishing.

This provocative coming-of-age story explores the power of branding strategy, a technique the writer developed at an early age and carried with him throughout his lifetime. Lowery, from the time he was a young child, is able to comprehend that one’s innate, individual self is their greatest commodity in life. Through the highs and lows that inform his experience, he stays true to that ideal. Lowery puts forward a raw and compelling narrative of a child, and later a man, who repeatedly picks himself up, reimagines his life, and finds innovative ways to move forward. The self-empowerment so emblematic in Lowery’s character and story promotes readers to adopt the author’s tactics in their own lives.

The influence of prominent civil rights leader Joseph Lowery, the writer’s grandfather, is prevalent in this work. A beacon for both hope and progress during the Civil Rights Movement, the legacy of Joseph Lowery weighs heavily on the narrator. This, along with his upbringing and existence as a black man in America, make Lowery both introspective and contextually aware when it comes to race. Moreover, draws parallels between the movement his grandfather championed and led, and the Black Lives Matter movement of today, exposing the failures of our system and calling for meaningful, systemic change. Both Joseph and Vaughn Lowery are members of the first intercollegiate historically African American organization Alpha Phi Alpha. Lowery simultaneously considers the work he can do, as a singular human being, to forward social justice causes in his day-to-day life and interactions with others. 

In 1920, his grandmother, Agnes Christine Moore Lowery (the little girl in the blue dress, also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha), came with her grandmother to become the first black to vote in Tennessee. The kids’ book, The Big Day, depicts their journey the day she voted, now available on Amazon here.

Photo of LaJUNE by Armon Hayes for 360 Magazine

Photo: Armon Hayes, Talent: LaJUNE

360 Magazine is also now selling one of a kind home goods via Chairish, a curated marketplace for the best in vintage and contemporary furniture, decor and art. Check out this piece designed by 360’s founder Vaughn Lowery.

In the year 2020, which has been afflicted with an overwhelming amount of change, there has never been a timelier moment for insight from a man like Lowery. As mentioned, Lowery’s deep ties and connections to racial justice in America feels incredibly relevant, as do his thoughts on digital media, something Lowery pioneered years before COVID-19 forced the world hurriedly online. Constantly at the forefront of social change, Move Like Water × Be Fluid offers an understanding of the current moment, yet looks forward to the possibility of an evolved, cosmopolitan world. One that Lowery aspires to through all his works, including this installation and 360 MAGAZINE.

As we follow the author through grade school, high school and on through Cornell University, we collect advice from a myriad of powerful secondary characters. From all walks of life, these secondary support systems offer Lowery the push he needs to continue on striving towards something better. We watch Lowery model the work ethic of his admired older sister, gain confidence from an encouraging teacher, change the trajectory of his life due to a neighborhood mentor, and learn from the critique of a Residential Advisor. This self-help-book stands apart for never failing to appreciate the importance of an individual’s support system. Fittingly, while the book catalogues Lowery’s journey to success, it inspires and encourages readers in the same way Lowery’s community uplifted him – to take action towards a meaningful life.

Comparable titles to Move Like Water × Be Fluid include other stories of individuals who later turned to publishing their experiences in self-help books. Numerous celebrity examples include Becoming by Michelle Obama, Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, or The Path Made Clear by Oprah Winfrey. These titles, as well as Lowery’s first book, all feature introspection and explanations regarding the course of the authors’ lives. 

The following descriptions outlines the chapter-by-chapter journey within Move Like Water × Be Fluid.

Chapter 1: The beginning of Lowery’s journey is marked by his complicated childhood in Detroit, distinctly connected to his sense of place and community. Financial struggles and surroundings reminiscent of the song “Gangsta’s Paradise,” as well as the author’s early experience with assault contextualize the course of Lowery’s life.

Chapter 2: A childhood mood, coupled with the realization of his intelligence, swiftly changed the direction of Lowery’s life. Following a move to New Jersey to live with his older sister, Lowery’s early experiences of racism shine a light on his passion for racial justice today. The opportunity to participate in an honored education program again changes the trajectory Lowery follows.

Chapter 3: This chapter offers insight into the ups and downs of high school, a narrative many are familiar with. Yet, Lowery’s poised observations throughout the chapter reflect his early understanding of the world.

Chapter 4: After a remarkable yet complex journey through high school, Lowery achieves the first of many dreams by gaining the chance to attend Cornell University in New York. At Cornell, he is able to expand his understanding of self and what he hopes to accomplish.

Chapter 5: Saks Fifth Avenue recruits Lowery to work in their corporate office, marking Lowery’s first foray into the world of economics and fashion. The advice he gains from mentors in the field prompts him to shift towards a career in acting and modeling, supplemented by working in the Medicare Department of U.S. Healthcare.

Chapter 6: New York, in all its hectic nature, pointed Lowery west towards California where he could further capitalize on his talents in the entertainment industry.

Chapter 7: This chapter details one of the events in Lowery’s life for which he is best known: his commercials as “Joe Boxer Guy” that overwhelmed the nation. Following ups and downs in Los Angeles, this success cemented Lowery’s understanding of his own talents as well as his ties to L.A.

Chapter 8: Following an offensive home invasion, Lowery pivots to continue embracing what life throws at him with appearances on NBC’s “Scrubs” and “America’s Next Top Model.”

Chapter 9: With plenty of capital and the space to complement his next steps, Lowery founded 360 MAGAZINE in 2008, powering through the tidal wave that was the recession all due to his own brains and the belief in his product and brand.

Chapter 10: After another painful reminder of the inadequacies of the justice system in America due to an unjust prison stay, Lowery’s comprehension of what is truly important is once again realigned. Despite his negative experiences, his magazine is able to be on the cutting edge of the Los Angeles scene.

Chapter 11: The number 360 is ubiquitous to Lowery – one embodies the other. His appreciation for both his own capabilities and expertise, as well as the ones of others, assures his magazine and brand are constantly evolving. 

Chapter 12: Thinking on the future following the tragic death of a friend, Lowery is nowhere near finished and is more than ready to continue is many metamorphoses. He now exists in a space where he strives to empower others, all around the world. 360.

Move Like Water x Be Fluid, by Vaughn Lowery, is available this month exclusively on the 360 MAGAZINE’s website. 360 MAGAZINE has received numerous accolades, and has recently been featured on Dancing with the Stars. Stay in touch by following both Lowery (@vaughnlowery) and 360 (@360magazine)

Additionally Vaughn has an audio book titled, “Say Uncle: The Story of Vaughn Lowery” which loosely based on his childhood. It is available for here on Amazon Music. For additional info on Vaughn Lowery visit Wikipedia and IMDb.

Now available in all formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Books, Blurb, Walmart and Audible.

Signed copies of Vaughn’s memoir, Move Like Water × Be Fluid, are available in our shop.

relationship illustration by Rita Azar for 360 Magazine

Insurance for Valentine’s Day Let-Downs

Survey shows percentage of those suffering Valentine let-downs, finds women caught cheating more often than men, and more.

The leading online resource for health, auto, home and life insurance for more than 20 years, Insurance, recently surveyed 2,000 individuals to determine how frequently Valentine’s Day disasters occur. The good news: most (83%) report escaping relationship drama around the holiday. But, for those who endure heartache, finding highlights include:

  • 27% broke up with someone
  • 20% had a serious argument
  • 65% of men caught partner cheating (vs. 35% of women discovering an unfaithful partner)
  • 52% of men initiate break ups (vs. 48% of women calling it quits)

The complete survey results are available: 5 heartbreaking scenarios—insurance after divorce.

“It’s understandable that insurance may not be top of mind when going through a stressful break up or divorce,” acknowledges Michelle Megna, editorial director for Insurance. “But failing to assess life, homeowners, auto and home insurance can be costly. Our guide makes it easy for people to understand where they may be exposed to financial risks so they can efficiently make any necessary insurance coverage changes.”

Insurance checklist during divorce

Life insurance: Consider changing the beneficiary or setting up a life insurance trust for the benefit of any children.

Home insurance: Ensure the correct name is on the policy and/or secure renters insurance if moving out of a shared home. The guide explains what to do if homeowners are underwater on their mortgage and/or leaving a home unoccupied.

Auto insurance: It is possible to stay on the same auto insurance policy until car ownership is determined. But, assess your estranged spouse’s driving habits, speeding tickets and/or accidents. It may be more cost-effective to separate your auto coverage before finalizing a divorce.

Health insurance: If an individual wants to remain on a former spouse’s health plan after divorce, it may be possible to obtain COBRA coverage for up to 36 months. COBRA is generally a high-cost option and it may be more cost effective to purchase an individual high-deductible health plan.

The report includes an interactive map showing divorce and marriage rates by state, along with their differences from national averages.

Megna is available to elaborate on break up survey findings and answer questions about how people can best assess any insurance coverage changes that may be important in the wake of divorce.

About Insurance.com

Insurance is owned and operated by QuinStreet, Inc. (Nasdaq: QNST), a leader in providing performance marketplace technologies and services to the financial services and home services industries. QuinStreet is a pioneer in delivering online marketplace solutions to match searchers with brands in digital media. The company is committed to providing consumers with the information and tools they need to research, find and select the products and brands that meet their needs.  Insurance.com is a member of the company’s expert research and publishing division.

Insurance.com is a trusted online resource dedicated to educating consumers on auto, home, health and life insurance, developing relationships directly with carriers to offer consumers comparison rates from multiple companies. Since 2001, Insurance.com’s industry-first online tools, data-based reporting and experienced experts have helped consumers make informed insurance-related decisions, so they can choose the right insurance for their individual needs.

3 Great Ways to Stay Mentally and Physically Healthy After Retiring

When you retire, your whole life changes. Or, at least that’s how it feels. For most of us, our careers are a huge part of our entire identity, and you will probably feel a lot different once you hang it up.

That can be good and bad. For some, it is fully and undeniably a great feeling on day one. A dream come true. For others, the transition is difficult. And that can lead to some negative effects — both mentally and physically.

The best way to make sure you can adapt quickly and avoid any severe downside is by staying active and staying healthy. The more you can do to remain physically, mentally, and emotionally fit, the better it all will go.
The following represent three great ways to maintain your physical and mental health after retiring.

1. Pick Up Something New

By the time you hit retirement age, you are probably pretty set in your ways. The last thing that might seem like a good idea is even more change. But it really can help. It doesn’t have to be something major. Replacing the hours you normally spend at work with something else, however, will do you a lot of good. Join a new club, pick up a new hobby, or get involved in your community in a new way. It can really help you adjust — you won’t be just losing something but adding something as well.

2. Embrace the Water

One of the difficult parts about getting older is that it’s harder to exercise and stay in shape. Even people who have always been fit and love to run or play sports have trouble maintaining their routines because it can be so hard on the joints. The solution? Jump in the pool! There’s a reason that even pro athletes rehab in the water. You can continue using you body and strengthening your muscles — plus your lungs and heart — without risking injury.

3. Get Top Coverage

Of course, no matter how fit you stay, there will always be some health concerns. That’s just inevitable as people age. So you need to make sure you have the best possible healthcare coverage. For most seniors, this means going with some type of Medicare Advantage plan. This allows you to expand upon the coverage of the traditional program at a very affordable rate. There are many different types, but it’s hard to go wrong with a Medicare Advantage PPO plan that includes benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t. Make sure you have access to all the medical care you need.

Staying Mentally and Physically Fit

After you retire, there will be an adjustment period. But you can minimize the negative parts of this transition by implementing the right strategies. The goal for everything should be staying healthy — and improving your health. 

After all, you don’t have to grind away at a 9-to-5 anymore. You might even be able to strengthen your body and sharpen your mind with more free time and more energy to devote to yourself.

Start by replacing your work hours with some new hobbies. Stay fit with low-impact activities like swimming. And make sure you have the best healthcare coverage possible. This alone will help so much. You can embrace retirement head on and start loving your life more and more every day.

Mina Tocalini, 360 Magazine, Insurance Bill

Price Transparency Essential to Patient Empowerment

Independent Women’s Voice (IWV) applauds the introduction of the “PRICE Transparency Act” today by Senator Mike Braun. The “PRICE Transparency Act” would require hospitals and insurers to reveal prices for care to patients beforehand, allowing consumers to make informed, price-conscious decisions for themselves and their loved ones. 

While price transparency was important before the coronavirus, in the aftermath of the economic troubles caused by the pandemic, it is a crucial first step towards a competitive healthcare marketplace that empowers patients, expands access to quality care, and drives prices down.

IWV Policy Director Hadley Heath Manning issued the following statement: 

“Americans would never buy other goods or services without a price upfront. Non-emergency health care, which is over 90 percent of healthcare spending, should be no different. With transparent pricing, Americans can plan ahead or shop and compare prices and reviews from a variety of healthcare providers in order to find the best value. Price transparency measures have proven to reduce prices for all patients, not just aggressive shoppers. That’s the power of competition at work!

“President Trump has taken bold steps to fight for patients to have healthcare price transparency. But we know executive actions only go so far; they could easily be undone by a future administration controlled by healthcare industry cronies. That’s why the work of lawmakers like Sen. Braun is so important. Codifying these measures will help to ensure that price transparency is the law of the land and that this sunlight won’t set with any changing of White House control. 

“American patients deserve that security, and they deserve the accountability and affordability in health care that transparency will bring. ” 

Independent Women’s Voice has been a leading voice championing healthcare price transparency. IWV’s nationwide advocacy campaign has driven thousands of public comments in support of price transparency to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

Independent Women’s Voice fights for women and families by effectively expanding support among women, independents, and millennials for policy solutions that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, opportunities and well-being.

Follow Independent Women’s Voice: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

sara sandman, 360 MAGAZINE, business, tech, illustration

What Does Medicare Plan F Exactly Cover?

Medicare parts and plans are almost always mistaken for one another. There are only four main Medicare parts which are Parts A, B, C, and D. These parts offer hospital coverage, outpatient services, and prescription drug coverage. Part C, on the other hand, is considered to be an alternative solution for the original parts along with other services that aren’t usually covered in Part A and B such as vision and dental care.

Other than the Medicare main parts, there are other available plans to purchase as an added help to your Original Medicare such as Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans. However, they only work alongside your Original Medicare. That’s why enrolling firstly in Original Medicare is one of the most important requirements to be able to qualify for any Medicare plan. Different Medigap policies are sold across all states, including Plan F which is considered to be one of the most extended-coverage plans out there. Read on to discover more information on Plan F so you can determine whether it is a good fit for you.

What Are Medigap Policies? 

Medicare Supplement -also known as Medigap- insurance plans are essentially available to help in covering certain out-of-pocket costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover. If you are thinking about enrolling in Medigap, especially Plan F, then you must read everything you need to know and understand what exactly this plan has to offer. It’s important to educate yourself regarding the plan you are considering to ensure it is suitable for your needs. While Medigap Plan A is mandatory to be offered by insurance companies that sell supplement insurance plans, there are other plans such as C and F that are sold upon the desire of every consumer.

What Is Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan F?

There are ten different Medigap policies that are available. Plan F is considered to be the most comprehensive plan available in most states. People who seek broader assistance with out-of-pocket costs benefit from the extensive coverage that this plan offers. Plan F offers a great advantage for beneficiaries who often use Part A and B which is that it reduces hospital and medical expenses significantly; most of the time, you won’t need to pay for any additional costs. For these reasons, it’s only logical that premiums might be more expensive. Since this plan, and other Medigap policies, is offered by private insurance companies, it might not be available. Plan availability varies from one state to another, so it’s always a good idea to research the availability of the plan in your region. However, Plan F is highly desirable due to its extensive coverage which pushes most insurance companies to offer it.

What Are Plan F’s Presented Benefits?

Most Medigap plans are standardized across all states. This means that regardless of your location or the insurance company you choose to purchase the plan from, you will be able to get the same benefits that are offered by Plan F in any state. However, Plan F premiums may vary from one insurance company to the other. There is also another high deductible version of Plan F that is different from the original plan.

Here are some of the benefits that you get when you purchase Medigap Plan F:

•Plan F offers additional benefits that reach up to 365 days after the exhaustion of Medicare Part A benefits.

•Plan F offers Medicare Part A deductibles, copayment, and coinsurance. The difference between copay and coinsurance is that the first is a set rate you pay for hospital services you have benefited from. The latter is a percentage of the costs you pay after you have already met your deductibles. Deductibles, on the other hand, are the set amount of charges you pay for medical services before coinsurance is activated.

•It covers the excess charges that come with Part B that specializes in outpatient services and deductibles.

•It covers the cost of the first three pints of blood needed. Yet, the medical procedure must be approved and it only covers three pints of blood annually.

•Trained nursing facility coinsurance.

•It covers 80% and up to the Plan limit of emergency foreign travels.

While a Medicare advantage plan offers different Medicare benefits that aren’t usually covered such as dental and vision care, Medigap policies are considered to be an Original Medicare’s sidekick. Plan F offers coverage for most deductibles, coinsurance, and copayment for Part A; it also covers excess charges for Part B. Investing some time and effort into educating yourself on the differences between Medicare parts, plans, and policies will help in cutting costs and saving money while you are taking care of your health in the long run.

illustration, 360 MAGAZINE, Alejandra Villagra

Bernie Sanders × ESSENCE.com

In an exclusive op-ed for ESSENCE.com, Sen. Bernie Sanders explains why Black women will benefit from medicare for all. He talks to ESSENCE about:

  • AMERICA’S DYSFUNCTIONAL HEALTHCARE SYSTEM: “It is impossible for any rational person to deny that our current healthcare system is dysfunctional and cruel. As a nation, we spend more than twice as much on healthcare as the people of almost every major country on earth while achieving worse outcomes.  Even worse, Black Americans see only a fraction of those sub-par returns.  In America today, Black babies are more than twice as likely to die in infancy than babies born to white mothers, and Black women are three or four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than their white peers. To change those unacceptable outcomes, it’s important to recognize that maternal health disparities don’t start at pregnancy. They start before mothers are even born…”
  • HOW THE “MEDICARE FOR ALL” BILL WILL BENEFIT BLACK MOTHERS: “In my view, any plan that targets Black maternal health that doesn’t include unequivocal support for a universal healthcare system that is free at the point of delivery is not good enough. The “Medicare For All” Bill I’ve introduced will help prevent Black mothers from being discriminated against as they’re poised to give birth — left laboring in hallways because of their perceived inability to pay. It also means that large numbers of Black Americans who live in southern, Republican-controlled states like Mississippi will no longer have to suffer because local legislators rejected President Obama’s Medicaid expansion. Medicare For All will provide long-term home health care and community-based services for everyone…”
  • HOW AFRICAN-AMERICANS ARE DISADVANTAGED BY AN EMPLOYER-BASED INSURANCE SYSTEM: “In America today, Black employment rates remain disproportionately low due to well-documented employment discrimination, unequal public education, and other systemic biases. While 65 percent of white families receive insurance through their employer, only 46 percent of Black families do, which in part explains why the uninsured rate for Black Americans is 11 percent – over 50% higher than that of white Americans…”

For more on this piece, visit ESSENCE.com