Rabu, 24 Oktober 2012

The Benefits of a Mid-Range Medical Aid Plan

There is no substitute for proper health care and investing in your future health, and thus when it comes to choosing the right medical aid plan you will need to think carefully about which one will suit your needs and your pocket.

When it comes to medical aid plans there are three basic ones that you will need to choose from. These are basic entry level plans, mid-range plans and premium plans. All of these have their own pros and cons that you will need to be aware of before you make a decision.

And as with most things in life you will end up getting what you pay for in the end. And when it comes to protecting your health and the health of your loved ones you really do not want to skimp and go for the cheap option without doing your homework.

A lot of people find themselves in deep financial trouble after a serious illness or dread disease because they did not properly plan for the future. This then adds further stress to an already stressful situation and can negatively impact on your health and recovery. Here is a look at the pros of investing in a mid-range medical aid plan to protect your health and wellbeing.

You Get What You Pay For

When it comes to medical aids you truly do get what you pay for, and thus if you end up going for the cheap option you will get basic health cover that will not be there when you need it most. But on the other hand a premium medical aid plan can offer you too much and in the end you might end up paying thousands for something that you do not need.

Thus the best option for most people is to invest in a mid-range medical aid plan. A mid-range plan offers quality medical care and assistance at a reasonable price. This means that most people will be able to afford this type of plan.

Thus if you are looking for comprehensive cover then your best bet is to invest in a mid-range medical aid plan for you and your loved ones. Thus you will be able to look after your health at a reasonable price.

Comprehensive Cover for Less

With a mid-range medical aid plan you will get comprehensive cover that will cover most illnesses and disease without having to cost you an arm and a leg. Thus if you are looking for more cover than just a basic plan for less than a premium plan your best bet is to go for the mid-range medical aid plan.

Just remember to take into consideration your medical history and pre-existing conditions that will need to be covered. All of these factors will affect your monthly premium in the end. Thus you need to make sure that you choose the right plan for your needs.

Selasa, 11 September 2012

Top Things You Should Know About HIPAA Exams

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) exams are a series of tests professionals working in the medical system need to pass in order to receive a certificate validating their knowledge and set of skills in matters such as HIPAA Privacy Rule, Security Standards, National Standards, and so on. Following are the top seven things you should know about the HIPAA exams.

• Medical professionals have the option of choosing one of three HIPAA exams: the Certified HIPAA Administrator Exam (CHA), the Certified HIPAA Professional Exam (CHP), and the Certified Security Compliance Specialist (CSCS). The choice they make has to be in accordance with their job responsibilities and the level of contact they have with secure health information and patient records.

• Registration for any of these three exams can be made online, via fax, or by mail. When registering for a certification exam, applicants also have the option to sign up for a pre-exam training course. Candidates can sign up for individual courses or for a package containing all the courses. Candidates can register for both the CSCS and the CHP exams, if they wish to.

• Before taking the HIPAA exam, each candidate has to adhere to a few rules. Candidates have to represent that they are the person who has registered for the HIPAA exam, that they will complete the exam within the allotted time frame, and that they will not use any resources or assistance when answering the question. If the candidates fail to adhere to all of these rules, their certificate can be denied or revoked.

• All HIPAA exams are online multiple question examinations which must be completed in one sitting, in a specific time frame. For the CHA exam, candidates have to complete 40 questions in 60 minutes or less and achieve a score of at least 75%. For the CHP and CSCS examinations, candidates will have to answer 60 questions in a time frame of 60 minutes and obtain a score of 75% or higher.

• The exam begins when the candidate clicks on the "exam commencement" button. The exam ends when the hour elapses or when the candidate submits the answer to the last question, whichever comes first. Each question has to be answered in sequence, but the candidate has the option of reviewing his or her answers at any point during the examination.

• After the 60 minutes have passed, candidates receive an instant notification of their score. If the candidates achieve the minimum of 75%, it is considered they have passed the exam and they can receive the certificate.

• In case the candidate does not pass the HIPAA exam from the first try, he or she will have to register for a new examination, but retaking the training course is optional.

These are the 7 most important things any medical professional should know about HIPAA exams. For more information on registration fees and curriculum for the exams, feel free to browse online, you will surely find what you need.

Sabtu, 21 Juli 2012

The Difference Between Medical Aids and Health Insurance

Investing in the future of your health is imperative to having peace of mind for when you need it most. Thus you need to make sure that you invest wisely and that you plan ahead for when the unforeseen happens.

But planning for your future health is not as easy as it might seem, as there are a lot of factors to take into consideration. Firstly you will need to choose between a medical aid plan and a health insurance plan. Both of these have their own merits and also their own cons that you will need to be aware of.

Here is a brief look at the difference between a medical aid plan and health insurance and what they can offer you to give you peace of mind for your future health and wellbeing.

Why You Need a Medical Aid

A medical aid will give you peace of mind for when you get sick that you will be able to pay for your treatment and that you will be well looked after. It will provide you money and treatment for when you need to go to the doctor or the dentist or even when you need serious medical attention.

Thus paying a monthly fee towards your medical aid will pay off in the end when you get sick and need to be hospitalised and treated. Thus paying in every month will pay off when you need it most. Otherwise you might find yourself in deep trouble when you can least afford it.

A lot of people think that paying for it every month is a waste of time and that they will be able to save a lot of money by not having a medical aid. But this cannot be further from truth because when you need it most you will be covered by your medical aid, and if you need serious treatment all those months of paying in will definitely pay off in the end.

What Health Insurance Can Offer You

Health insurance is different form a medical aid in that it only covers specific treatments and illnesses and you will be able to choose which ones you want cover for. This means that health insurance can end up being much cheaper than a medical aid, but it also means that you will not be guaranteed cover for all medical treatments and illnesses and that you might have to end up paying for them yourself.

Thus you very carefully need to consider what your medical need are before you decide on which one you will want to use. If you do not get sick very often you might want to invest in a health insurance plan that gives you cover for medical emergencies only. This way you will still be covered and you will end up saving a lot of money each month.

Selasa, 12 Juni 2012

The Exceptions to Being Covered on Your Parents' Health Insurance

Whether you are just moving off to college, or finally graduating and beginning your new career, if you are like many young adults across the country you likely are still on your parents' health insurance plan. You should be aware that while this may protect you in certain instances, it is often not enough. Chances are that if you investigate the fine print of the plan, you will find that your coverage under their insurance is actually quite limited in what it will cover and where, partially because it will be tailored to their needs and location, not yours. Here are a few issues you may run into by staying on their plan.

Moving Out of State

Starting college or a new job often brings us out of state, which can be the perfect opportunity to see a little more of the world and experience a way of life that is a little new and unfamiliar. Unfortunately, for many health insurance plans, you will only be covered in the state that your parents live. This is still good protection if you get a sickness serious enough to warrant traveling back home for treatment. Letting a health issue get this far, however, is never a good idea. Foregoing things like regular check-ups and doctor visits for what begin as minor health issues are often the cause of developing more serious medical complications. Make sure that when you leave home, you are covered wherever you happen to be living, so you can get the treatment you need, when and where you need it.

Dental Problems

One of the worst types of check-up to ignore is the kind you get from your dentist. Regular cleaning and examinations are critical to your health, and minor problems can quickly develop into very painful issues if you are not keeping up with them. You should know that while you probably qualify to be on your parents' health insurance plan until you turn 26, in most cases this will not include dental.

Individual Plans

The benefits of seeking out an individual health care plan go beyond moving out of state and needing dental insurance, though those are each important factors. In acquiring your own plan, you will be able to get custom coverage that will serve your unique needs, and make decisions about your plan that can benefit you when you really need it the most. Many young adults are nervous and unsure about the issue of seeking out their own plan because it is stepping out into such unfamiliar territory. However, this is just another one of those steps into adulthood that you will discover is not nearly as scary as it seems, and that you will be grateful you took in the long run. If you have questions, an insurance broker will be able to guide to you to the plan best suited to your needs.

Kamis, 24 Mei 2012

What Effect Will the Supreme Court's ACA Ruling Have on Me?

The United States Supreme Court ruled this summer that most of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act were constitutional. Unfortunately, with all the hype about the law, most people have no idea what the ACA actually means to them.

Denials for Pre-Existing Conditions

We've all heard the stories about people who simply could not get health insurance. Whether it was a heart condition diagnosed last year, childhood cancer, or some form of chronic illness, many insurance companies simply did not offer health insurance to some people. The bottom line for the insurer was that these people had already proven to be expensive medical risks. Their premiums were unlikely to cover the costs of future treatment.

Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies can no longer deny clients based on their previous health. They can, however, charge higher premiums based on your health history. The monthly premiums and deductibles may be high, but insurance companies must at least offer some form of coverage.

Keep Paying for Your Children

Many parents have decent insurance through their employers, but young adults, especially, those at college age or in their early 20s, may not have access to employer-sponsored healthcare. While they are getting started with their careers or paying off student loans, health insurance might not be a primary life goal. But with the Affordable Care Act, parents can continue to help their children out for a few more years.

Parents have the option to keep adult children on their insurance until the child reaches the age of 26. For young adults struggling to get by, this can mean the difference between regular doctor visits and no coverage at all.

Insurance Availability

Generally speaking, group health insurance is less expensive that individual policies, but for dozens of reasons, people might not be able to qualify for a group policy. Traditionally, most group policies were through an employer, but for the small business owner, work-at-home parent, and those with chronic diseases, an employer-sponsored plan might not be available.

The ACA allows each state to create health insurance group offerings for those who otherwise might not be able to find group insurance. The benefit of a group plan is that the risk is spread to all the group members, usually meaning smaller costs to each member. Under the Supreme Court ruling, the ACA allows states to create so-called insurance exchanges to allow people to find coverage at more affordable group rates.

Despite the Supreme Court's ruling, or maybe because of it, the ACA remains confusing. Hiring an insurance broker to help you identify the plan that best meets your needs is still a great option. A broker can help you look through the offerings and decide what is right for you.

Rabu, 18 April 2012

How to Reduce Healthcare Costs

With the discussion of the Affordable Care Act, reductions in Medicare spending and changes in employer-offered healthcare, almost everyone is concerned about the costs of staying healthy. One issue is that for years, no one has treated healthcare like a commodity. We went to the doctor when we needed to and paid what they told us to. Now, to save money on healthcare, treat it like any other major purchase. Shop around and save.

Understand Your Insurance Plan

Many people end up paying more than they need to for healthcare because they simply don't understand what their insurance policy covers. Knowing which doctors you can see, when you need a referral and what medications or treatments are covered can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Work with you healthcare provider to find less expensive alternatives and opt for preventative care to avoid costly illnesses.

Shop Around

Even if you have insurance, shop around when looking for major medical procedures. The cost of an MRI, for instance, can vary greatly depending on where the test is performed, what machinery is used, and when you have it done. Non-hospital facilities will often offer considerably lower rates in an effort to attract patients.

And don't be afraid to ask for a discount. Some providers already reduce their fees for insurance companies, especially the ones that they are preferred providers for, but asking if there is a discount available for paying cash at the time of the service can often save you money. If it's something your insurance will eventually pay for, the provider's office may even be willing to help you file the claim and still give you a discount just because the cash flow happens more quickly when you pay the day of service.

Get Healthy

The absolute best way to reduce your healthcare costs is to get healthier. That means eating properly and getting some exercise. Your employer may offer nutrition counseling or support programs to help you get more fit. Some employers will help pay for a gym membership or have employer sponsored recreational activities meant to help increase your fitness level.

This is especially important if you have a family history or chronic illnesses like heart disease or diabetes. Making a pre-emptive strike to get healthy before you are diagnosed with a major illness can help reduce your insurance premiums and your overall healthcare expenses.

Additionally, annual check-ups can help detect illness before it becomes a major expense. Be sure to see your healthcare provider regularly.

Finally, make sure you get the health insurance coverage you need. Insurance brokers can help you devise a plan that fits the needs of you and your family and is tailored to both your financial and health needs.

Rabu, 21 Maret 2012

6 Key Features of HIPAA Exams

Keeping in mind there is a possibility of exploitation of protected medical information, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act was enforced. This Act aims at controlling fraud related to medical records of patients. HIPAA has various rules and regulations that specify the usage and access of sensitive patient information.

HIPAA exams are made available for all health care workers dealing with patient health information so that they can be aware of their duties towards safeguarding sensitive information and the regulations and rules that HIPAA lays down. It is up to you to choose from among the various training programs available according your specific requirements.

When HIPAA rules are not strictly adhered to, there are severe implications. The penalties range from fines to imprisonment or both depending on the type of offense committed. When some employees are seen committing violations repeatedly, they are bound to lose their license to work and the health care organization may also be put out of practice. Hence, it is highly essential that all health care workers handling sensitive patient information must be properly trained so that 100% compliance is seen. This will ensure lesser violations.

Six key features of HIPAA Exams are mentioned below:

• All the material for the training program is often made available to you mainly through PowerPoint and other types of presentations. This makes the lessons easy to grasp. There is an option of online training, and if you choose that, you can download these presentations and use them as and when you desire.

• As mentioned earlier, training sessions are provided in classrooms as well as online. You can choose the medium that is most convenient for you. If you have a busy work schedule, online training will benefit you greatly as you can work around your work timings to complete your course.

• The cost of HIPAA training varies with the type of course as well as the training organization. You can look for a couple of good courses and make your decision looking at the comparative costs. However, make sure you don't compromise for the quality of training. Choose only a good, reputed organization.

• Once you complete your course, you will most likely have to take an exam. Again, you can do this in the classroom or online. Once you pass the exams, you have successfully completed your HIPAA training.

• To prove that you have indeed completed the training you need a certificate. Successful completion of the exam entitles you to a certification. There are different types of certifications provided based on the type and duration of your course.

• As HIPAA regulations are continuously being modified and altered, it is essential that you keep yourself up to date with the newest additions. For this, you can take a fresher course after every six months to a year. This is also very important as not knowing the rules can lead to accidental violations.

It is the health care organization and its employees' responsibility to safeguard the patient information and HIPAA exams are the medium for them to make sure they are complying with the rules. It teaches you the processes you need to perform and this in turn helps in fewer violations.

Rabu, 29 Februari 2012

What 2 Things Do You Need to Know About HIPAA Certification?

All US healthcare professionals are required to obtain their Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) certification in order to ensure a transparent and efficient medical system. Read below to find out more about the various types of HIPAA certification exams and about the curriculum you need to prepare for each one of them.

• HIPAA Certification Curriculum:

In order to be able to pass the HIPAA exams and receive a certificate validating their knowledge, trainees have to study a certain curriculum. The curriculum includes an introduction to HIPAA, detailing its enactment, regulations, and goals, an introduction to the HIPAA Privacy Rule, other advanced privacy topics, HIPAA Security, standards for electronic transactions, administrative safeguards, and physical and technical safeguards.

People wanting to obtain a HIPAA Specialist certificate will have to prepare a more extensive curriculum. The topics they will have to learn include regulatory compliance and security, financial security and services, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) requirements, digital healthcare and security, International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards, US State Government Requirements, business continuity planning, and cyber security strategy.

These training modules are offered by various healthcare training companies and they are often bundled up in courses called HIPAA Basic and HIPAA Advanced, according to the type of certificate each healthcare worker needs to obtain. If you cannot find the right bundle of courses you need for your HIPAA certification, contact the training company to see if they can provide you with the exact curriculum you need for your exam.

• Types of HIPAA Certifications:

There are three types of HIPAA Certification exams healthcare professionals can sign up for, according to what job responsibilities they have. The easiest exam, the Certified HIPAA Administrator or CHA for short, is meant for people working in the healthcare industry who do not have access to confidential health data. In order to pass this exam, trainees will only have to prepare some basic information about HIPAA and the Privacy Rule, or, in other words, the HIPAA Basic training course.

The Certified HIPAA Professional (CHP) is an exam created for healthcare professionals who have direct contact with patient records. In order to be able to pass it, applicants will have to undergo the HIPAA Advanced training course, which also focuses on security requirements apart from the Privacy Rule. Candidates for the CHP exam will also have to prove their knowledge in topics such as electronic transactions and administrative, physical, and technical safeguards.

The third and most complex exam, the Certified Security Compliance Specialist or CSCS, is designed for security officers, compliance professionals, compliance managers, privacy officers, security officers, and senior IT staff. This certificate validates a healthcare professional's knowledge and skills in areas like information security, legislations, frameworks, and international standards.

These are some of the most important things any healthcare professional should know about how HIPAA certification works. If you are still not sure which certificate is suitable for you, contact a senior manager in your institution or any HIPAA training company for more information.

Rabu, 15 Februari 2012

Filling Gaps in Coverage With Short Term Health Insurance

There are many different reasons why you may have a gap in your health insurance, but it's important to stay covered. Even the smallest gap in insurance can leave you vulnerable to the high bills that an accident or sudden illness can cause. Fortunately, you can cover any gaps in your health insurance coverage with short term coverage.

Why You Might Need Short Term Coverage

The most common reason why individuals need short term coverage is that they are switching jobs. If you leave one job with coverage, you often have to wait a few months before coverage at your new position kicks in. Other instances where individuals might find a gap in their coverage include if the insured spouse dies, if a couple gets divorced, and when a child graduates college and is no longer covered by their parents' insurance.


If you are leaving a job with group health coverage, you may be eligible to continue your coverage if you meet the requirements set up by COBRA, or the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985. COBRA requires companies with 20 or more workers to offer continued access to group insurance plans in the event that an employee or their dependents would lose coverage, such as at the end of employment (for reasons other than gross misconduct), divorce, or death. COBRA provides the option of 18 to 36 months of coverage, depending on circumstances. However, the premiums may be high for COBRA coverage. Departing workers can be required to pay up to 102% of their premium.

State Continuation of Coverage

Depending on your state's laws, you may be able to temporarily continue your coverage even if you're not eligible for continuing coverage through COBRA. This mainly applies to employees from companies with fewer than 20 employees, who are not covered by COBRA statutes. Individual states have statutes to extend coverage for 3 to 6 months, but the states that offer this are limited. To know if yours is one of them, you need to check with your state's health department or insurance commissioner.

Individual Coverage

Individual short term insurance is also a great stopgap if your health insurance coverage ends. Plans typically span from 30 days to six months. Beyond that period, an individual would need to seek a longer-term plan. Short term plans are not generally intended for preventative care measures, so deductibles and premiums can be high. To make the most of needing individual short term insurance, you should seek out an experienced broker to help you find the right plan to fill your needs and nothing more.

Selasa, 24 Januari 2012

Why Get a Physical Before Participating in Sports

Sports physicals are required for participation in many school sports, but may not be for required for the community soccer league. Or, your school district may only require a sports physical every other year. So why go to the trouble and expense of a sports physical every year? For your child's safety, of course!

Undiagnosed Conditions

Competitive sports, especially for new participants, can challenge the body in ways that it has never faced before. Whether it's doing calisthenics in the late summer heat or trying to keep moving for an entire football game, the challenges of fall sports can be stressful. Student athletes need to know that their bodies can take it and so do their parents.

Sadly, it seems like every year, there is a news story somewhere about a seemingly healthy child or teen that collapsed on the field never to get up again, usually due to some underlying, undiagnosed health condition. A sports physical is one way to find out about those health conditions before they become a tragedy.

Likewise, many sports put stress on the joints that might not have been there before. Because of the repetitive nature of many sports activities, stress and strain can lead to lasting injuries. A sports physical can help parents identify additional protective gear, like knee or ankle braces, that can help student athletes maintain proper form and avoid injuries.

The exam may also help alert parents and children to the need for medical attention. We've all heard the slogan, "No pain, no gain," but the sports physical can help student athletes learn the difference between muscle aches and injury-related pain.

Changing Health Issues

As parents, we sometimes don't want to think about the fact that our children are growing up. An annual sports physical can be an excellent opportunity to talk to your child and his or her doctor about their changing health needs. For parents uncomfortable with discussing the need for a sports bra or athletic supporter, a sports physical can be a great way to open up the conversation about the safety gear the student athlete needs.

Additionally, at a sports physical, the medical professional may be able to discuss nutritional needs with the student athlete. Many athletes, especially teen girls, may not understand what they need to eat and how often to maintain peak performance in their chosen sport. This is also a good time to encourage an open dialogue between student athletes and their healthcare providers in an effort to create a relationship built on honesty. Teaching students now to be completely truthful with their physicians can lead to better healthcare.

The reality, though, is that many parents skip or skimp on the sports physical simply due to the high cost of healthcare. This may mean interested students are forced to skip out on sports or that they are playing without medical supervision. This usually happens when parents have no individual health insurance, but health insurance may be more affordable than people think. Call an insurance broker to investigate your options for health insurance and the chance to help your children improve their health as well.

Rabu, 04 Januari 2012

College Student Immunizations

It is a common misconception that immunizations are a health precaution and requirement limited to childhood, and that after high school has passed so has the responsibility to keep them up to date. In fact, many colleges not only encourage but require certain shots for enrolled students. For an establishment like a university, with young adults from around the world living together in what is often pretty tight living quarters, this is a preventative measure that just makes sense. Even if your school does not require updated immunizations, there are many preventable diseases that you would be wise to protect yourself from before you go away to school.

College Requirements

The top immunization that your school is likely to require, or at least strongly recommend, is a meningococcal vaccination, to protect against meningitis. Meningitis is a bacterial infection that causes the inflammation of the membranes surrounding your spinal cord and brain. This painful and life-threatening condition is something you definitely want to avoid, but unfortunately this can be difficult when living in the cramped and often less than sanitary conditions of a college dormitory. Luckily, one easy shot that many colleges already require will be enough to keep you safe. Other immunizations which may be required, depending on your school, include the three-dose hepatitis B vaccine, and the combined vaccine that will protect you against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough).

Elective Immunizations

Even if they are not required by your school, there are some vaccines that are just plain smart to get. The seasonal flu shot is one of these, and can really be a life saver in the height of flu season when you are studying for your midterms or finals. The flu can spread like wildfire in a dorm, and is the last thing you need to slow you down before a big exam. Another more long-term investment you should make in your health is the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine. This protects against a wide range of diseases, including genital warts and many types of cancers that are caused by different strains of HPV.

Health Insurance

Many college students are covered by their parents' health insurance plans, but there are some exceptions. If you are not covered and do not already have an individual health insurance plan, now is the time to start looking for one. This may not be the most exciting part of beginning your adult life, but it is essential for keeping you healthy and safe throughout your time at college (and beyond). Being ensured will not only cover the critical immunizations that you need, but also allow you to get regular check-ups, which is another important part of preventative care.