A recent poll revealed that over 70% of Americans are either uninsured or underinsured. Surprisingly, the majority are from middle class households. Many of who are not offered health benefits by their employer or whom can’t afford the high-priced insurance premiums being offered.
In some states, there is an epidemic of children whose teeth are slowly rottening due to the lack of proper dental care. To help bring relief to this growing crisis, discount health care benefits providers have emerged. These companies do not provide health insurance, but they give an alternative that allows consumers to receive discounted fees per service. Unlike traditional insurance plans, these companies often have little or no exclusions, such as pre-existing conditions. Another plus is that consumers with immediate health care needs, can usually be seen by a doctor without having to wait for their coverage to “kick in”.
A potential drawback to discount health benefits plan is that consumers will pay for services upfront or at the time of service; unless other arrangements are made with that individual provider. This, in contrary to paying a co-pay or deductible at the time of service. Consumers with flexible spending accounts or medical savings accounts will be able to take advantage of this circumstance.
In some situations, depending on your health care provider’s policies, consumers have been able to use both the discount health plan alongside their insurance for even deeper savings. For example, you go into the dentist office for an extraction. The bill is $300. You hand your discount card to the insurance department, she gives you the discount, which normally ranges from 50 – 80%. This cuts your bill by up to $240! Leaving you with $60 left to pay. You pay the $60. Then file a claim with your insurance company for the $60. Let’s say your insurance company pays 80% of your bill. They will refund you $48 (80%), leaving you with a net bill of only $12, for what would have cost $300 normal price, or $60 with your insurance alone.
While some consumers are struggling with the high and growing price of insurance, others are discovering the savings of discount health benefits plans. By the year 2010, it is predicted that consumer driven health care, will be the future, leaving traditional insurance plans, to be a thing of the past.