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Healthcare, Insurance, and You: The Savvy Consumer's Guide

Book Description

Healthcare is changing and you need to know how—and what to do about it.

Getting good medical care shouldn't be so confusing—or so costly. Healthcare, Insurance, and You simplifies the many confusing details about our healthcare system so you can make informed decisions. Result? Better health at lower cost.

With the advent of healthcare reform, things are changing—especially when it comes to insurance. Most people will now have to buy insurance. Do you know where to get a policy or what to look for in one? Did you know more people will now qualify for free or subsidized healthcare? Even if you get insurance through work, you'll face new choices that you'd better understand to maintain your peace of mind. As this book shows, the failure to understand how insurance and the healthcare system work can have a major impact on your physical and financial health.

Healthcare, Insurance, and You is an easy-to-use guide that explains the main challenges you face when trying to get excellent healthcare: choosing the best insurance policy for your situation, finding the right doctor or hospital, buying prescription drugs the least expensive way, picking out the right Medicare plan, or fighting for your rights when dealing with insurers or medical providers. Healthcare, Insurance, and You includes tips, resources, and strategies for navigating the healthcare system and avoiding common mistakes so you can get the best healthcare for you, your family, or your organization without breaking the bank. This book shows you:

  • How to choose a health plan that best meets your medical and financial needs, including new options under the Affordable Care Act

  • Ways to cut through red tape and fight billing errors and claim denials

  • What businesses need to know about offering—or not offering—insurance to employees

  • How to plan ahead for a disability or for end-of-life care

Healthcare costs rank high on the list of money concerns Americans have. And when it comes to getting great healthcare for you and your family and avoiding crippling medical bills, knowledge is power. Healthcare, Insurance, and You is a practical guide that explains the complicated healthcare system in plain language—and puts the power of good health back in your hands.

What you'll learn

  • The impact of the Affordable Care Act on your healthcare and your finances

  • How to take advantage of new health insurance exchanges and tax credits

  • How to choose a health plan that best meets your medical and financial needs

  • How to advocate for yourself, fight billing errors and denied claims, and know where to turn for help

  • How to choose a doctor and hospital based on quality, not hype

  • How to avoid common mistakes that can cost you big--or even put you into bankruptcy

  • How health reform affects businesses and how they can reduce healthcare expenditures

Who this book is for

Consumers of healthcare in the United States, including both individuals and small businesses buying coverage for employees.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Apress Business: The Unbiased Source of Business Information
  3. Dedication
  4. Contents
  5. About the Author
  6. Acknowledgments
  7. Introduction
  8. CHAPTER 1: A New Healthcare System
    1. Operating Below Capacity
    2. Health Reform Is Changing Your Healthcare
    3. Paying for Preventive Care
    4. Rolling Out the Law
    5. Rising Healthcare Costs Are Changing Your Healthcare
    6. Summary
  9. CHAPTER 2: Buying Health Insurance on Your Own
    1. Insuring the Uninsured
    2. A Guarantee of Coverage
    3. Path 1: The Medicaid Expansion
    4. Path 2: The Health Insurance Marketplaces
    5. Summary of Benefits
    6. Personalized Help Buying Coverage
    7. Do You Have to Buy Insurance?
    8. Summary
  10. CHAPTER 3: Paying for Health Insurance
    1. Help Paying for Health Insurance
    2. Do You Qualify for Tax Credits?
    3. How to Take Your Tax Credit
    4. Where to Get Help
    5. Summary
  11. CHAPTER 4: Health Insurance at Work
    1. The Role of Business
    2. Employers: ACA’s Impact
    3. Employees: Health Benefits at Work
    4. Health Plans and Employers That Get a Pass
    5. Will My Insurance Costs Go Up?
    6. If You Own or Work for a Small Business
    7. Summary
  12. CHAPTER 5: Cutting Medical Costs
    1. Healthcare Is Getting More Expensive
    2. Your Benefits Look Different
    3. Hidden Healthcare Prices
    4. Costs Can Get in the Way of Treatment
    5. Avoiding Common, Costly Mistakes
    6. Summary
  13. CHAPTER 6: Buying Prescription Drugs
    1. Drug Costs Are High
    2. Take Your Medicine
    3. Websites That Can Help
    4. Additional Cost Saving Tips
    5. Summary
  14. CHAPTER 7: You Against the Healthcare System
    1. Don’t Be Fooled
    2. Common Pitfalls That Will Cost You
    3. Resolving Medical Billing Disputes
    4. Fighting Denied Insurance Claims
    5. Calling in the Experts: Getting Help with Billing Disputes
    6. Getting Hold of Your Medical Records
    7. Summary
  15. CHAPTER 8: Medicare
    1. Medicare Basics
    2. Annual Enrollment Periods
    3. Signing Up for Medicare When You’re Still Working
    4. Getting Help
    5. Avoiding Costly Pitfalls
    6. Summary
  16. CHAPTER 9: Taking Charge of Your Healthcare Future
    1. Getting Your Affairs in Order
    2. Healthcare Advance Directives: Getting Your Affairs in Order
    3. The Cost of Alzheimer’s: What’s Covered, What’s Not
    4. Long-Term Care Insurance
    5. Finding the Right Nursing Home
    6. The End of Life: Hospice Care
    7. Summary
  17. APPENDIX A: Consumer Assistance Programs and State Departments of Insurance
  18. Index