Changes in Big Health Insurance for 2013 College Grads

With all the fuss about the new policy, open enrollment period, the subsidies given by government and the necessity to have a health cover has created new choices and issues at the same time for the new college grads.

Some of the choices they make are; Mom & Dad’s plan, individually purchased coverage, short-term coverage, etc., but there is a whole new lot of options coming on for them.

How will health insurance options of today change for graduates when the last big provisions of the health reform law come into effect from January?

Here’s How!

Mom & Dad’s health insurance plan – A parent health insurance plan is best for you if you are thinking of moving back to your parent’s place, and you are looking for quality coverage or employer-based coverage is not available at the moment. With the help of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) now a person graduating from college can stay insured under his parent’s health insurance plan till the age of 26. This is a very nice option for some of the graduates. But there are negative sides of this, like increased premium for the parents, or if you are not in the state then it is not possible to get the assistance of network doctor at the time of requirement. So these are the things that can hamper the benefits of your coverage.

In 2014: You will be treated as a holder of a health plan with your parents till the time you turn 26, but after that you are supposed to purchase a health cover of your own, in order to fit in the requirements of ACA.

Traditional individual health insurance plan -if you are looking for quality coverage and do not have an option of employer-based coverage at the moment, or you have an ambition of being financially independent, then you should go for a traditional major health insurance plan for yourself. A person with good health has many good and affordable options to choose from.You can get the best for you by getting the best information about your plan from an online marketplace. It is to be kept in mind that this is possible to decline coverage based on pre-existing conditions until 2014

In 2014: by the start of 2014, most of the people who are not covered under employer-based insurance will have to purchase these individual insurance plans. It will be a good thing if you will purchase one now. There is a chance of you getting the benefit of subsidies in 2014.

High-deductible health insurance plan – if you are not covered under any employer-based health insurance and want quality coverage, but do not have the need of it, as you are in a good health conditions and are not taking any kind of medical drug regularly, then you should go for a high deductible insurance plan. These are the traditional insurance plans with higher deductible. Here the meaning of higher deductibles is lower monthly premiums. Some of the higher deductible plans can be used in the health saving accounts, by which you will be getting some tax advantage and saving a considerable amount of money.

In 2014: At this time also the high-deductible plans and Health Savings Accounts will be available. Apart from these there will be plans available for everyone which are now a days only there for the people below 30 years of age.

Short-term health insurance plan – If all you want is the basic emergency coverage, or your employer-based coverage is not enough for you, then a short term health insurance will be a good option for you. The short term health insurance plans are easy to qualify and quite affordable. But it should be kept in mind that the short term plans do not cover the pre-existing conditions, preventive care or prescription drugs. You can easily purchase a short term health insurance plan.

In 2014: the short term health insurance will not be complying with the requirements of the health reform law in 2014. So you will be subject to a tax penalty on the federal taxes if you stay uncovered from a qualifying health plans for more than 90 days.

Going uninsured – It is a matter of concern that most of the young Americans are uninsured these days. The idea of health insurance sounds foolish at the time you are young and healthy. But a single medical emergency can cost to more than you can ever think with all the medical expenses these days. the success of the health reform will be vague without the involvement of young and healthy individuals.

In 2014: it is going to impact your finances if you are uninsured in 2014. Most of the uninsured people will face a tax penalty of 1% of their income or $95 (whichever is greater) and the penalty will keep increasing in the coming years.

Small Business Health Insurance Choices

You know that you are mandated to provide health insurance for your employees. But, you aren’t a big company, in fact, it’s just you and two other employees that make up your entire business staff. So how are you going to afford to pay for the insurance for you and your staff?

Over the past few years, insurance premiums have gone the roller coaster of rising so high that it’s near impossible for any business, let alone a small business, be able to afford them. After the financial crisis happened, insurance premium rates went down in a spiraling dive that left everyone too scared to commit!

However now, there may be hope to be found in the new reform bills that will take effect in a few years’ time. So by 2014, small businesses may be able to get together to buy insurance as a group. Since most entrepreneurial businesses have a small work force, they will be able to avail of group rates rather than individual ones. The savings may be small, possibly 1% to 4% less, although employees will have more benefits, a raise of about 3%.

But what happens until then? Although the three years until the final date of 2014 won’t really take that long, it’s not the solution for small businesses that need to get insurance right now.

So until that time, any small business with less than 10 workers who earn about $25,000 can claim a tax credit on their health insurance of about 5% on their tax credits. Those “bigger” companies that have up to 25 workers who earn a maximum of $50,000 a year can claim partial tax credits.

The insurance company will also be prohibited, when the reforms kick in, from excluding coverage or setting rates that are based on pre-existing conditions. It will only be age, geographic location, and tobacco use that the rates will be based on.

These are the major changes in store for small businesses. Until 2014, though, there is nothing new in the market since many states won’t be implementing these changes until just before the due date.

Inside or Outside of the Health Insurance Exchanges

Businesses, individuals and families are even more confused about where they can buy health insurance come 2014. Some think they have to buy inside the exchange. This is simply not the case. So what do you do? Get informed!

The exchanges were designed to offer a richer set of plans that most people in America are used to through their employer. The government knew this going into it. On top of that, they created an incentive to use the exchange through subsidies for those who qualify. But only within the exchange. The family size and income will play a major role on what and how much subsidy you will qualify for from the government inside the exchange. There are no government subsidies outside of the exchange.

Inside the exchange, there will be a Gold, Silver, Bronze and a Platinum plans. The insurance carriers who offer plans inside the exchange will not be required to offer all four plans. They are required to offer one gold and one silver plan. Each plan will have slightly different essential benefits.

There is no ruling on what will be available outside of the exchange, at the time of this writing. The understanding is there will be more flexibility in choosing a plan that meets your needs versus what is available inside the exchange. As of now, the non-grandfathered plans, will include more of the essential benefits that are required by the law. This could be a plan you currently have right now. An example of essential benefits is maternity coverage. The maternity benefit will be added to your plan, along with the associated costs, as well as new plans starting January 2014.

This can be a good or bad thing, depending… It is bad for that single 30 year-old male entrepreneur that is unmarried. He will be paying for a benefit that he will not be able to use unless he gets married and they are having children. The flip side is a growing family does not have to wait a period of time until maternity kicks in. This will eventually have an impact on the premiums. But what won’t?

The plans outside of the exchange, will have more flexibility for plan selections. If you want that $5,000 deductible because you are willing to take the risk to offset premiums, you can have it. If you want to keep your HSA plan, you can. At least at the time of this writing.

Having this flexibility will allow premiums to go down. There is talk going around the industry that the plans within the exchanges will cost you more than outside the exchange. This will give many the advantage of buying outside the exchanges at a much lower cost. Especially when you make more than the income required to qualify for the subsidy by the government.

Make sure you know your choices going into 2014. The media and your friends do not work in the industry and they could only provide one-sided information. Be informed for 2014.

Buying Water Filters: a Quintessential Guide

Water filtration is not a new technology. Historically, there is evidence in ancient texts to demonstrate that filtering water for impurities was in practice in both ancient India and Egypt.  Indian text SushrutaSamhita (3rd century CE) even spoke of methods like boiling and heating, a well as using sand and gravel for filtering water.  Egyptian tombs (15-13 century BCE) have relics depicting the usage of water treatment devices.

Hippocrates, considered the father of modern medicine, invented what is known as the Hippocratic sleeve – a cloth bag through which one could pour boiled water to purify if further. By 1900s, water treatment graduated from a focus on preventing waterborne diseases, to reducing mineral content of water. This was done through water softeners that used sodium ions to replace components which led to “hard water”. Ion exchange is among the significant technologies in water purification today, enabling us to address heavy metal content in water.

Today, water purification is an extremely accessible technology. This is because it has become a necessity. Twenty years ago water filters for drinking water were a luxury, due to dependence on tap water. Tap water is both abundant and cheap. However, unlike the past, there are effluent discharges and ecosystem pollution linked to the water cycle. Chlorination at water processing plants isn’t enough to provide the highest grade of clean water.

The need for water filtration

Benzene, in a microscopic quantity (five parts for 1 billion) is still potent enough to cause harm as a dangerous carcinogenic. Metal content (including lead and mercury) can lead to nervous and renal disorders.

A water filter is a modern necessity.  You need to invest in the cleanest drinking water, and you’ll find that unlike tap water, water using a filter is a refreshing change of taste.  Used in accompaniment with a dispenser, you can get instant access to hot and cold water, freeing from refrigerating or boiling water the old fashioned way.

You can buy an affordable hot and cold water dispenser from Awesome Water Filters. Water has special relevance to Australia, a nation that sees both water droughts and flash floods. Rampant pollution is harming the Aussie way of life, and leaching into the water supply. As the country is amongst the dries globally, as well as the world’s biggest water consumers, the need for water filtration is at an all-time high.

Can’t mineral water bottles take care of the situation?

As any Australian resident, bottles can be highly expensive, making it unviable for many to regularly buy large water bottles on. Offices, with their large staffs, will find filtered tap water cheaper.

This doesn’t mean that you buy a cheaper water filter. Unlike water bottles, water filtration technology is a long-term investment, not just a purchase. You need to also assess the kind of impurities. There are two major kinds – biological and chemical.

Biological contaminants: harmful microbes and disease causing bacteria. These cause digestive disorders, among other ailments.

Chemicals: metals and compounds lead to nervous system and renal issues.

A filter needs to address the dominant type of impurity in your tap water supply. Of course, for many regions, even the taste of the water will give you an idea of the kind of filtration needed.

You can easily buy a water filter for commercial and residential needs without splashing out money on expensive models. All you need to do is ensure it addresses the impurities in your drinking water.

Filters

The Incredibly popular carbon block filtration technology can remove impurities through activated carbon.  On other hand, Maifan Stone can filter out heavy metal like lead and chrome and, after filtration, it is advisable to use glass bottles, or BPA-free polycarbonate bottles for storage. Benchtop water purifier are great options.

What Will Tennessee Health Insurance Do With Health Care Reform?

A study by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee takes an in-depth assessment of the possible effects that national health care reform could mean for Tennessee residents. The study estimates that 683,000 Tennesseans will get new Tennessee health insurance coverage under health care reform. It also focuses on possible changes in access to medical care, as well as the shift from employer-provided TN health insurance to the state exchange.

Dr. Steven Coulter, president of the Tennessee Health Institute, conducted the study entitled “National Health Care Reform: The Impact On Tennessee.” According to Coulter, the study explores how the expansion of Medicaid and the establishment of the TN health insurance exchange in 2014 will affect the residents of Tennessee.

Coulter says that since the advent of Medicare in 1965, the Patient Protect and Affordable Care Act has been the largest expansion of entitlement programs. “With the expected increase in consumers eligible for Medicaid expansion coverage and an estimated 1.5 million qualifying for subsidies in 2014, there is a great deal that needs to be addressed to ensure a smooth transaction,” he says. Coutler also noted that people who already have access to health care might have to wait longer when more people can afford to see a doctor unless there are basic changes to the health care system.

What’s Happening With The Shortage Of Doctors In Tennessee?

Long before health care reform, an appalling shortage of doctors was noted in Tennessee, and the situation has improved dramatically in some counties. On October 26, 2011, The Jackson Sun reported that the situation had improved in rural West Tennessee. Specifically, the doctor-patient ratio in Hardeman County went from one doctor per 4,675 people to one doctor per 2,229 people from 1992 to 1999. Chester County saw similar improvement with the ratio of one doctor per to 6,409 people falling to one doctor per 2,505 people.

What’s Happening to Tennessee Health Insurance Prices?

Coulter also notes the possibility that young adults will have to pay more for Tennessee health insurance by 2014. That’s because health care reform tends to level the playing field, so to speak. Groups, like the long living, have been paying high premiums, while young people have been paying low premiums. To average out the price of TN health coverage for all residents, some will likely end up paying more, but those who have been paying high rates, will get a break.

Who Stands To Gain The Most From Health Care Reform?

Overall, the people with the greatest economical disadvantages stand to benefit most as access to health care is extended to more state citizens. People who have been barred from getting TN health care coverage based on medical conditions will also get greater access to health care when they can finally get coverage.

Employers are also expected to have financial gains when they can encourage employees to get Tennessee health insurance through the exchange because not providing coverage will improve the company’s bottom line.

Will Everyone Directly Benefit From Health Care Reform?

It remains to be seen whether people who currently have TN health insurance will have longer wait times for health care, with more doctors and clinics coming to the state. For example, a federally-funded clinic opened in Hardeman county in 1993 and in Hardin county in 1995. In East Jackson, West Tennessee Healthcare opened a clinic in 1996, and federally-funded clinics have been operating in Fayette and Lake County since the 1970s.

Tennessee health insurance companies will have to navigate new price regulations and could see their profit margins decreasing over time. Insurers selling individual TN health insurance plans are already required to spend 80 percent of the premiums they take in to pay for policyholders’ care. That reduces the amount of premiums they have been permitted to keep as profit. Group plans have been managing regulations that require they spend 85 percent of premiums for policyholders’ care, though.