Posts Tagged With: Government Health Care Programs

Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

Did you know that Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) offer free or low cost health coverage for eligible children and other family members? Medicaid and CHIP cover:

  • Children and teens up to age 19
  • Young people up to 21 may be covered under Medicaid
  • Youth who have “aged out” of foster care can be covered under Medicaid until they reach age 26

Children may be eligible based on their family income.  Eligibility depends on your income, the number of people in your family and the rules in your state. In almost every state, children in families with income up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level ($47,700 per year for a family of four) are covered. In more than half the states, the income eligibility for children can be even higher.

Eligible children and teens can get regular check-ups, shots, doctor and dentist visits, vision care, hospital care, mental health services, needed medications and more.  All preventive services for children are available at no cost.

For more information, go to

http://www.insurekidsnow.gov/chip/index.html

Teaching suggestions

  • Ask students how can they find a health care provider (doctor, dentist or pharmacist) in their area who accepts Medicaid or CHIP?
  • Is there a special enrollment period for Medicaid or CHIP?
  • How can you apply for Medicaid and CHIP?

Discussion Questions

  1. Can working parents who may not have health coverage through their jobs cover their children under the CHIP program?
  2. Who can apply for Medicaid or CHIP for a child?

 

Categories: Chapter 9, Health Insurance, insurance | Tags: | Leave a comment

Is That Health Insurance Website for Real?

Shopping for health insurance online?  Before making your final purchase – read on.  Health insurance scams have been preying through websites selling medical discount plans.

According to the complaint in a recent case FTC settlement, IAB Marketing Associates, LP et al. , was a sham nonprofit trade association offering memberships suggesting it would provide consumers with a comprehensive medical insurance plan. Here’s how it worked: people shopping for health insurance online would come across websites quoting prices for health insurance plans once they entered their personal information. The websites acted like collection baskets: they asked for contact information, age, occupation, marital status-and whether folks had health insurance or pre-existing medical conditions. IAB telemarketers then called people who provided their information on these websites and used aggressive tactics to sell IAB memberships. As long as people paid upfront fee and made monthly payments – both ranging from $40 – $1,000 – they were promised a comprehensive health insurance plan that covered virtually every medical procedure and illness

Or so they thought.

The truth? According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), consumers never were enrolled in a comprehensive health insurance plan. The IAB plan was essentially a medical discount plan, offering, if it existed, limited discounts and reimbursements on visits to certain doctors or hospitals. Many consumers who suffered an accident or illness were shocked to find that their IAB “health plan” covered very few, if any, medical expenses, leaving them with major medical bills.

For additional information go to:

http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/health-insurance-website-real

Teaching Suggestions

  • Ask students why they should research a company before providing their personal information.
  • Where can students file a complaint if they suspect a health insurance scam?

Discussion Questions

  1. How can consumers protect themselves from such scams?
  2. Should consumers provide personal information on the web?
Categories: Chapter 9, insurance, Wise Shopping | Tags: | Leave a comment

Medicare & You 2015: What’s Important in 2015?

In September 2014, millions of Americans received a 152-page booklet from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, called Medicare & You 2015.  It doesn’t have much of a plot, but it might be the most important reading for seniors or their adult children.  Here is what’s important in 2015:

  • Stay healthy with Medicare-covered preventive services. Medicare pays for many services that can prevent or detect health problems early when they are easier to treat.  Ask your health care provider what services you need.
  • Keep track of your personal health information. Access your personal health information using Medicare’s Blue Button.  This information can help you make more informed decisions about your care and can give your healthcare providers a more complete view of your health history.
  • Continue to get help in the prescription drug coverage gap. If you reach the coverage gap in your Medicare prescription drug coverage, you’ll quality for some savings on generic and brand-name drugs.
  • Find out what you pay for Medicare (Part A and Part B). The 2015 Medicare premium and deductible amounts were not available at the time of printing.  To get most up-to-date cost information, call 1-800-Medicare.

For additional information go to

http://www.medicare.gov/Publications/Pubs/pdf/10050.pdf

Teaching Suggestions

  • Ask students to choose a current issue of Money, Consumer Reports, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, and summarize an article that updates Medicare’s programs for 2015.
  • Ask student where they can find other ways to get Medicare information and compare the quality of plans and health care providers.

Discussion Questions

  1. What factors should senior citizens consider in making the choice among various types of Medicare, medigap, or HMO health care insurance policies?
  2. What services are not covered by Medicare?
Categories: Chapter 9, Health Insurance, insurance | Tags: | Leave a comment

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