by Your Insurance Coverage?
Let's OverHall the Pieces!
by: Janet L. Hall
(A special note
to those of you that live outside of the United States. It would
be impossible for me to try and cover all types of health insurance and
coverage that is offered around the world. I do hope this article
will help guide you as to what you should be looking for in your area of
the world when it comes to health insurance.
ALSO - I wrote this
article in 1999 and many things have changed however I believe you'll
still find the article interesting.)
Health insurance, you either have it or you don't. But wait a minute.
Even if you have health insurance you might not have it, meaning, you
might not have the coverage you'll need for your particular illness or
If you work for a company, chances are they offer what I like to call *
boiler plate insurance *. Take it or leave it. If you’re
self-employed, chances are you can get the coverage you want but you
also end up paying * big time * for it if you don't understand the
products and options available in the market place.
A friend told me about a female executive she had
met who knew nothing about her family's insurance coverage because her
husband handled all * that *. She woke him up one night asking him
if their insurance covered them if they should get Alzheimer's.
He tells her, "Yeah, we’re covered, go back to sleep and stop worrying."
But she wasn't so sure if he really knew and thought she had better find
out exactly what their insurance covered.
What exactly does your insurance cover? More importantly, what DOESN'T
IT COVER? You need to know and understand what your plan covers BEFORE
you need to use your insurance.
I don't claim to be an insurance person but I have done some research
and here is a sampling of what I have discovered.
You've got PPOs, POSs, HMOs, and COBRA. You've got Indemnity or
Fee-for-Service plans and Government run plans such as Medicare, Medigap
or Medicaid. Then there's Disability, Hospital Indemnity, Long-Term
Care, and Nursing Home Plans. Let's not forget Dental and Vision!
You want and need to have health insurance to protect yourself and loved
ones from financial disaster if you or they should fall into an illness
So I'm writing to urge you to get out your health insurance policies and
take a good look at them. See if your policies need an * OverHall *.
Call the provider if you don't understand something or you have a
Get the family together for an hour or so and talk about the coverage
you currently have and write down any questions that come up.
Listed below are several questions and answers I came up with:
1. Do you have a choice in the type of plan?
2. Should both spouses carry their company's plan or just one plan?
3. Which is the best plan for you?
Find out your family's health history to help you determine what type of
coverage you should be looking at.
4. Should you get or be concerned about Long-Term Health Care?
Depends on your family history and your finances. It is suggested that
you should start thinking about this type of insurance when you are in
your 40's. However, the premiums are lower the younger you are. Also,
check with your accountant about this type of insurance as the premium
cost * could be a possible * deduction on your Federal Tax Form.
5. What about Disability Insurance?
This is also know as Income Replacement Insurance if you should become
disabled (NOT the same as Worker's Compensation if you get injured on
6. Should I get a Medical IRA?
7. Are there any Federal Laws concerning Health Insurance?
Yes! Let me list but two:
a. Employers with 25 or more workers are required to offer employees
the chance to enroll in an HMO.
b. COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985)
requires if the business you work for has 20 or more employees and you
leave your job or are laid off that you can continue to get health
coverage for at least 18 months.
If you don’t have insurance, find out if you qualify for any state or
government run plans or do some research to find out what type of
insurance you need and can purchase.
The best site on the internet I found while researching health insurance
is by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (formerly know as
the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research). On their site you
can find a 14 page article, * Checkup on Health Care Insurance Choices *
that includes a checklist and a worksheet for you to use. Click on
They also have a very informative article, * Choosing and Using a Health
Plan * at
As you can see, there are a lot of pieces to the insurance puzzle. Now
it's up to you to take the time, make the time, to find all the pieces
you and your family need to complete this * crazy * puzzle!
Janet is a Professional Organizer - Certified ,
Certified Pyramid Feng Shui Practitioner, Speaker, and Author
and can help you regain control of your life, your time, your
stuff, and your environment. FREE newsletter, OverHall IT! at
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