Health Care Approach Evolving at Personal, Corporate Levels

An unexpected illness is something to think about when planning for retirement, as it could be costly. 

More fail-safes are now embedded in health insurance plans, allowing more people with pre-existing conditions to receive coverage with reasonable premiums, but financial risks may still await. 

For example, in an emergency situation, what are you supposed to do if you’re unconscious or otherwise unable to select the facility and provider that cares for you? 

Many times, patients are transported to the nearest hospital, regardless of whether it’s part of their health care plan’s network. This could lead to unexpected expensive bills. Also, be aware that a plan’s out-of-pocket limit may not apply to cost-sharing charges for out-of-network health care services. 

Today’s health care laws have enabled more people to buy health care insurance, but not necessarily the level of coverage they need. In fact, people are still filing for medical bankruptcy due to increased health costs and high premiums, copays, co-insurance and deductibles. 

Going forward, health care should be considered when preparing your long-term retirement income plan. The fact is, we may die sick or we may die healthy. While everyone prefers to maintain their health as long as possible, it’s better to prepare for the worst-case scenario and take steps to help ensure your family is covered in case you have a disability or illness later in life. Any remaining assets may be able to be passed on to your spouse or beneficiaries. 

As your financial professional, we’re available whenever you’re ready to discuss your long-term retirement income strategy. 

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “JAMA Forum: Surprise, Surprise,” from News@JAMA, Feb. 3, 2016.] 

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Even Insured Can Face Crushing Medical Debt, Study Finds,” from The New York Times, Jan. 5, 2016.] 

[CLICK HERE to hear the story, “House Hearing Probes the Mystery of High Drug Prices That ‘Nobody Pays,'” from NPR, Jan. 29, 2016.] 

People working for large companies may soon be able to start putting a way a little extra savings thanks to their employers’ changing approach to health care. Some corporations that offer health care insurance coverage to employees are actively looking for ways to reduce the cost of medical services. 

For example, 20 major U.S. companies, including American Express, Macy’s and Verizon, recently formed an alliance to share health spending and outcome data on their combined 4 million employees. 

This is part of a burgeoning trend in which large corporations are exploring how to leverage their volume health care spending to reduce the cost of care and prescription drugs. 

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Companies Form New Alliance to Target Health-Care Costs,” from The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 4, 2016.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Who Has the Power to Cut Drug Prices? Employers.” from Harvard Business Review, Dec. 1, 2015.] 

Since 2013, the number of uninsured Americans has fallen by an estimated 15 million, predominantly as a result of the Affordable Care Act. During last year’s open enrollment period, 12.7 million people either re-enrolled in a health plan or bought a new health plan through the government-sponsored marketplaces (9.6 million at; 3.1 million on state-run exchanges). And because health care plans are increasingly prone to change, about 70 percent of those re-enrolling at the federal site wisely shopped around for a better deal this year. 

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Here’s How Many Americans Signed Up for Obamacare This Year,” from Money, Feb. 5, 2016.] 

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