Discover the Benefits of Herbal Breast Enhancement Pills

With the controversies surrounding breast implants and breast surgery, many women are now turning to natural breast enhancement treatment. It is good to know the benefits of herbal breast enhancement pills to know that there are other options for women who want bigger and fuller breasts.

Having small breasts can seriously affect the self-esteem and confidence of women because most people believe that big breasted women are attractive. They are sometimes too cruel to criticize, tease and make fun of women with small breasts. To get rid of the insecurities and boost their self-confidence, flat chested women are looking for ways to enhance their breast size. For those who are looking for natural remedies, here are the benefits of herbal breast enhancement pills.

You can save money. Women who are not gifted with big bosom are suffering from the unhappiness and embarrassment of having small breasts because they cannot afford the expensive breast enlargement procedures. Aside from the high cost of the procedure, you may need to spend more in the coming months and years because implants do not last a lifetime. They should be replaced after some time plus you need to spend on MRI to monitor the condition of the implants and your breast health. One of the benefits of herbal breast enhancement pills is that you have the option to enhance your bust size using inexpensive method. You do not have to spend on repetitive procedures. With herbal breast enlargement method, the result is permanent and lasting.

You can avoid scarring and other complications of breast enhancement surgery. Enhancing your bust size using breast enhancing pills is a non-invasive method and you do not have to worry about scarring, infection, loss of nipple sensation, ruptured implants and other breast health issues.

You will have natural looking big breasts. Common complain of women with implants is the unnatural look of their breasts. One of the benefits of herbal breast enhancement pills is that you will not encounter the same problem. The result of natural treatments is not artificial but natural and you will have natural looking big breasts.

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Health – Your Most Valuable Asset

Your health is undoubtedly your most valuable asset. So with that in mind how do you protect your health?

Yes you probably have health insurance to look after your health if you become ill and car insurance to take car of you should your health suffer as a result of a car accident. But isn’t that paying someone else to look after your health after things go wrong? A bit like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted? What are you doing, or, what should you be doing to look after your health right now?

Do you get regular health check ups? Do you exercise & eat all the right foods that are beneficial to your health? Do you use health care products such as health supplements? Do you smoke, drink or take drugs? Are you aware of how these habits affect your health?

I’m willing to bet that you make darn sure you look after your children’s health, making sure that they are not doing anything that is going to cause long term damage to their health? But who is watching your health? Who’s making sure you are not doing anything to damage your health?

Health is probably something we all take for granted & only realise how important our health is when we are ill or someone close to us is suffering from ill health. However if we all do nothing in regard to our health now, waiting until we begin to suffer from ill health & then trying to do something about it may be too late as we may have already done irreparable damage to our health. If you could do something now to prevent one of your assets diminishing, such as your bank balance, your home or your car would you? Yes of course you would, so what about your most valuable asset, your health?

Well it’s about time that someone took control of your health, and that someone is you! Take control of your health now and make sure that valuable asset, your health, is well and truly looked after. Here are some suggestions that might help you to look after your health:

Get regular health check ups. If you have a good health insurance these are probably insisted upon. After all we all give our cars regular “health” checks, isn’t our health more important than the health of our vehicles?

Make sure you eat a healthy diet. Even if you don’t need to loose weight the right diet can help to improve your health.

Take regular exercise. 30 minutes a day at least 5 days a week, even if it’s just a couple of 15 minute strolls, that’s not to great a chore to protect a valuable asset – your health.

If you smoke, stop now! This is probably the best thing you can and ever will do for the sake of your health.

Cut down on your alcohol intake. Stick to the recommended guidelines for sensible drinking – for your health’s sake.

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Health Insurance Fraud: What You Should Know

Health insurance fraud represents one of America’s largest taxpayer rip-offs ever, costing Americans literally billions of dollars every year.

Due to rampant deception, scams and abuse in the health care system, consumers are forced to pay the price–literally–through escalating medical costs and rising health insurance premiums.

And government programs like Medicare and Medicaid, designed to help the low-income and elderly, represent two of the biggest losers of all.

Health Insurance Scams

According to the Insurance Information Institute, health providers and facilities such as doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, diagnostic labs and attorneys routinely attempt to defraud the health insurance system…with devastating results.

How do they do it? In a number of ways, including:

  1. Billing health insurance companies for expensive treatments, tests or equipment patients never had or never received
  2. Double- or triple-billing health insurers for the same treatments
  3. Giving health care recipients unnecessary, dangerous, or life-threatening treatments
  4. Selling low-cost health insurance coverage from fake insurance companies
  5. Stealing medical information and using it to bill health insurance companies for phantom treatments

If health insurance fraud knocks on your door, these types of scams may leave you with medical debts, damaged credit ratings, falsified health records, a high level of stress and overpriced health insurance premiums…or the inability to get any health insurance at all.

So what can you do about it?

Report it; then fight back!

What to Watch For

The first step to fighting health insurance fraud is keeping your eyes and ears open for abuse.

Be especially watchful for providers who:

  • Charge your health insurance company for services you never received or medical procedures you don’t need
  • Give you prescriptions for controlled substances for no justified medical reason
  • Bill your health insurance company for brand-name drugs when you actually get generics
  • Misrepresent cosmetic or other health care procedures not usually covered by health insurance plans as covered

If you notice a health care provider doing any of these things, keep all supporting paperwork handy for reference, and then contact your health insurance company to let them know.

Then, if you’re a Medicare or Medicaid recipient, call the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services and report the abuse.

Finally, contact your state department of insurance or the local police.

Fighting Health Insurance Fraud

To keep yourself from falling victim to health insurance fraud, take the following steps to fight back:

* Check with your state insurance department to make sure your health insurance company is licensed in your state.

* Check out your health insurance company for consumer complaints, fraud convictions and bankruptcies through your state department of insurance.

* Keep detailed medical records.

* Carefully review your billing statements.

* Never sign blank insurance claim forms.

* Avoid salespeople offering free health services or advice.

* Protect your medical records and information.

* Make sure you know what your health insurance policy covers–and what it doesn’t.

* Never pay your health insurance premiums in cash.

* Be wary if you’re asked to pay a full year’s premium up front.

* Be on guard against medical providers claiming to be connected with federal programs or the government.

* Beware of health insurance companies offering you coverage at an unreasonably low price.

* Ask your health insurance provider about anything you don’t understand regarding your bills.

Making a Difference

Protect your right to health insurance, lower your premiums and keep your medical information safe. All it takes is a little education, a watchful eye, and the willingness to make a difference!

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Sexual Health Issues of Women Men Must Know

When I was young and witnessed the coming of five more siblings, (1 girl and 4 boys), I thought there was not much big deal in being a wife aside from taking care of the house and, of course, delivering babies and taking care of them.

This did not change even when I got married and, together with my wife, started planning our family.

This ignorance, to my chagrin, is not, by any means, solely confined in me. I can hardly hear men, other than those in the medical profession, talk of other things about women, except that which they are most interested in – sex.

Having an OB-Gyne (Obstetrics and Gynecology) for a daughter enlightened me somewhat. Now I am a little bit educated in the sexual health needs of women and more considerate in this aspect (I don’t insist on sex when she is “unsafe”).

And you should, too, if you want to get the most out of your relationship. You should know that beyond being just a companion and a carrier of your sperm, your spouse, companion, mate or whatever, will be delighted if you can show a little concern and understanding of the various sexual health issues she will surely encounter, especially when years start piling up on her.

Some of these are:

Gynecological concerns:

Gynecology is a branch in medicine that deals with the diseases and disorders of the female reproductive system, i.e., uterus, vagina, ovaries, breasts, etc.

Unknown to most men, women can have any of the following gynecological disorders – endometriosis, ovarian cyst, fibroid, and vaginitis, among others. .

Or any of the more serious and lethal forms of gynecological cancers like cervical, endometrial andovarian.

Deaths from these health issues are avoidable through lifestyle changes and regular Pap smear, which a lot of women take for granted, and men ignore..

Painful intercourse:

If your partner tells you that it hurts to have sex, she may be telling the truth and not just putting you off. She could be having dyspareunia – painful vaginal penetration.

It is not a health issue by itself but could be a symptom of more serious medical condition or other phsychosocial problems.

Rather than look for someone to take you in without pain, have your partner visit a physician. Don’t ruin your long term relationship for short term gratification.

Menstruation and breast health:

Menstruation is a signal that says a woman is already ready for pregnancy. It is the process by which the endometrium lining of the uterus is shed from the body, thus producing a woman’s monthly “period”.

For men, it is sexual abstinence, unless one doesn’t mind getting bloodied all over.

Other than that, guys generally have no idea, or don’t care, that not all women are created equal in matters of menstrual cycles. Some experience dysmenorrhoea, or painful periods, while others have irregular periods, discharges too much or too little blood.

Never take this as a natural aberration. Some studies show a positive link between breast cancer and menstrual cycle problems.

Pregnancy and child birth:

My daughter was devastated the first time she had a patient die on her watch as a medical intern. She has become so inured with death since then.

But she still feels sad to deliver a full-term stillborn baby because it is one death that could have been avoided had the mother, and the father, been more careful, more conscientious and aware of the situation.

Making a baby does not start and end with sex. If one takes shape, the woman carries it with her for nine months before putting her life on the line to bring her baby into the world. Between conception and delivery a woman undergoes several changes, physical and emotional, and will manifest certain needs men might find strange or unreasonable.

Try as much as you can to accommodate these even if you have to bend so low to break your back.

In fact, be thankful that it is her, not you, to suffer the long process of conceiving and delivering a baby.


Is the time when a woman’s “periods” come to an end and her capacity to produce a baby ceases.

It is a time, too, when a woman exhibits hot flashes, night sweats, pain during intercourse, anxiety, irritability and the need to urinate more often.

If these bother you, take a hike rather than meet them head on. You would not be doing yourself, and her, any good if you fuss and bother about these physical and emotional changes in your woman.

Be happy to know that a menopausal woman hasn’t lost her sex urge and that you can still have a good sexual life with her when she’s over the hump.

Women are complex creatures. I even call them enigmatic. Beneath the charming smile and other physical attributes that often prompt men to treat them, sometimes disparagingly, as sex objects, is a sensing, feeling and thinking individual with needs men are too ignorant or indifferent about.

I bet you know more about what’s wrong with your car than what ails your woman.

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Is An Indemnity Health Care Insurance Plan Still A Good Option?

It wasn’t to long ago that the most popular form of health insurance was the indemnity heath care plan. This form of health insurance also sometimes referred to as a “fee-for-service” health care plan were preferred over other coverage or plans provided by health insurance companies or providers because they gave the insured the opportunity to choose their own hospital, doctor or health care specialist. Unfortunately, with the rapidly rising costs of medical treatment and hospitalization these plans have taken a back seat to managed health care plans. In fact, most of today’s companies only really offer their employees the opportunity to sign up for a managed health care plan if they even offer health insurance coverage as a benefit of employment.

As was previously mentioned indemnity health care plans were extremely popular because they gave the freedom for anyone subscribing to this form of insurance the ability to keep their own doctor or physician and seek health care from a hospital of their choice. The mainstream version of health care coverage now being offered today is a managed care system where the insured must choose from a list of providers that are part of the managed health care plan. Health Maintenance Organizations or HMOs are what normally comes to mind when people discuss this form of healthcare coverage.

As you can imagine when consumers were offered the choice of choosing their own doctor it came with a price. The fact is indemnity health care plans frequently ended up costing more for their participants based on what the health insurance company or provider deemed as a reasonable charge for any medical treatment or service rendered. In most cases the insurance company would only end up paying 80% of the total bill thus causing the patient to have to cover the remaining 20%. This percentage breakdown only represented the reasonable amount of allowable charges. Anything above that amount was also paid for by the insured so as you can see the amount to b paid for by the individual consumer can easily exceed 20% of the total hospital bill.

As if paying more for the right to see your own doctor or medical health care specialist wasn’t bad enough many indemnity health care plans required a premium payment and a deductible, which was usually paid annually. Still even with these additional costs most folks were happy with and preferred the indemnity health plan simply because of the comfort level afforded by the ability to choose their own health care provider.

In today’s managed health care plans a Preferred Provider Organization or PPO offers many of the same features as an indemnity health plan. These plans offer a much larger list of doctors and physicians to choose from with a good chance that the insured’s health care provider will be on the list. They also offer better rates if someone forgoes their own doctor and chooses a medical care specialist from among the PPO network of providers. Any medical care sought outside of the network results in higher expenses in the form of a deductible before the PPO will start contributing towards the extra costs associated with seeking medical treatment elsewhere.

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The Easy Way To Choose The Right Family Health Insurance Plan

If you’ve taken on the daunting task of choosing the right health insurance for your family chances are you’re in for a wild ride. The fact is trying to pick a family health care plan can be both confusing and difficult for many consumers. Although many plans have the major differences between them based on the monthly premium or health insurance rate and the restrictions they impose there are a few other minor features that should be explored.

Many health care providers will stipulate or mandate a required pre-health screening or physical before they will allow you to sign up for the plan and actually start providing health care coverage. The reasoning behind this is based on the fact that a majority of the new health care companies and providers are now positioning their coverage resources towards preventive medicine and hospital visits as opposed to treating pre-existing conditions. Other factors that will cause health care insurance plans to differ will be the rates they charge for smokers, consumers suffering from chronic or frequent illnesses and even people suffering from diabetes and other more extreme medical conditions.

One vital bit of information that someone researching to find the most suitable health insurance plan for their family should know would have to be the difference between a managed care health plan and a fee-for-service or indemnity plan. Many people prefer the indemnity plan based on the fact that it allows you the opportunity to choose the medical profession, doctor or health care specialist that you wish to use as your primary health care provider. It also eliminates the need for a referral when seeking specialized or outside treatment. Naturally, this freedom to choose your own doctor and hospital comes with a higher price in the form of a larger required deductible and the consumer paying as much as 20% of any health care that is provided.

The managed care system or plan is the most talked about plan and is discussed and advertised for quite frequently. Just in case you’re not sure what these plans are, think Health Maintenance Organization or HMO as that is really one of the more popular forms of this type of health care insurance coverage. Other plans similar in nature include the Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), and the Point-of-Service Plan (POS).

Since the HMO seems to be the most widely known it only seems fair to provide more in-depth knowledge on what it truly is and what it does for consumers. A typical HMO offers a large amount of health care benefits and a good value in health care coverage. Normally a deductible isn’t required and there is a nominal co-pay on prescriptions. This coverage plan is usually provided for a small monthly premium or fee.

The major difference between an HMO and an indemnity plan (aside from the deductible portion) is how the primary health care provider is chosen. Remember with an indemnity plan the consumer gets to choose whoever they want as their doctor. In an the consumer or individual seeking health care insurance is given a list of doctors to choose from that will become their family’s primary care physician. Also a referral system is heavily used in an HMO on the off chance that you need to seek additional medical guidance and help from a medical specialist.

Finding the most suitable family health care insurance can be extremely confusing and difficult or it can be rather simple, quick and easy. Knowing the difference between an indemnity plan and a managed care system can aid in the choosing of an adequate health care insurance plan for your family.

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Are You Eligible For Breast Augmentation?

Breast augmentation is used for cosmetic reasons, to reconstruct one’s breast after a mastectomy or to rectify chest wall deformities and as part of a male to female sex change surgery.

Sometimes, the loss of breast tissue or its complete removal because of a disease, mastectomy or accident can be the reason why women turn to breast enlargement. In fact, in extreme cases, breast augmentation is usually performed consequently with masectomy for better and faster effects.

Types of breast implants

There are two types of breast implants used in breast enlargement; saline and silicone gel filled implants. The saline implants have a silicone shell filled with sterile saline liquid while the silicone gel ones have a silicone shell filled with silicone gel.

Though women have different reasons for undergoing breast enlargement, there are some criteria that have to be met before surgeons will operate on you. Of the lot, age is a very important factor, where you have to be at least 18 years old for augmentation. Younger women are denied the operation as their breasts are not fully developed at that age.

Need to be in good health

You have to have good physical health to undergo breast enlargement. This is why your medical records will be checked, and you will be asked if you have any medical conditions, allergies, if you are on any medication and if you have been admitted to a hospital for other reasons.

It is possible to undergo breast enlargement if you have an adverse medical history, on the approval of a qualified and suitable doctor. However if you suffer from an infection, your surgery date may be postponed till the infection has cleared.

Pregnant women are usually not permitted to undergo augmentation as pregnancy and childbirth changes the breast tissue volume and shape. So postpone your breast augmentation plans till after childbirth.

If you meet any of these criterions, and feel that you need to undergo breast augmentation, consult a reputed cosmetic surgery to understand the procedure, and to find out if you are eligible for breast augmentation.

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Some Foods That Can Enhance Your Breast Size

The allure and wish for a bigger and fuller breast size in woman is very difficult to resist. Most women live and die with this huge. Reports have it that some women even at an old age still longer to have their bosom big and smooth with life. Yes a lady with a bigger and well loaded chest can more easily be attracted to the opposite sex. As men find it hard to take their eyes and thought of a woman with a big breast size. As a result of the obvious risk which is associated with breast surgeries, the report that some foods can help increase the size of a woman’s breast will be good news to many.

So for those that want to keep fit and still maintain the beauty that comes with bigger breast size, then you have something to cheer about. This is true because there are more foods that will help you gain that breast size you desire to have.

Having a very healthy diet plan which when added to these foods will enhance your chances of having those wonderful breasts that will be extremely difficult for a man to resist. A good combination of this breast enhancement foods to your meal and diet plan will yield that will beat your own imagination.

The question is which of these breasts enhancement foods are best and which are really going to work for me. Over the years there has been a lot of plants and herbs which a lot of people around the world made use of to improve on their breast health. One of such kind of herb is known as Fenugreek. This quality herb has been used by millions over the year. They are used to promote quality breast health in nursing mothers. What this herb does is to increase the supply of milk to the breast by the human body. Other ladies use it to improve the look and beauty of their breast. This herb has nice components that are very good for the health as it also helps to reduce the level of cholesterol content in human system.

One other wonderful hear that has been used over the years for breast enhancement is the Saw Palmetto. This herb is of a high nutritional composition. It’s has been used for decades by man and women with any negative effect to the body system. Most women use it to enhance their breast size as it helps to develop the breast tissues. It’s a wonder herb that can also improve the human urinary system when properly used. Despite the fact that this herb is very medicinal, it should not be abused in any way.

The funnel is another herb that can improve the human breast. The herd has some very tasty seed and can be likened to the fenugreek herb. This breast enhancement herb can be added to tea as it tastes really nice. Wild Yam is another breast enhancement food that is worth mentioning. This food when taken by a woman can help her develop bigger breast.

When you are taken these breast enhancement foods, you must ensure that they are taken in the right quantity. A lot of women can abuse these foods because of their desperation for bigger breast instantly.

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Natural Breast Growth

Certain features on our bodies are predetermined at birth, such as how tall we will be, what color our eyes are, and when natural breast growth will stop. For many of us, this is the one that is quite upsetting, and possibly the one we wish we could change most. It seems cruel that our boobs will stop growing long before our hips and thighs! Fortunately, there are a few things we can do to help stimulate natural breast growth and maybe trick nature into thinking we were destined to have bigger boobs.

Herbal supplements are often helpful, and usually very safe. You can get them individually, and take one or more different ones as a part of a daily vitamin regimen, or you can buy combination products that are made especially to stimulate natural breast growth. Products with Gingko Biloba, fennel, carrot root, and soy are popular choices for breast enhancement. You can also find foods and drinks that include some of these in their main ingredients. However, foods may not be very effective, as they usually only carry small amounts of the right herbs, and you would have to eat a lot to get any benefit.

In the same herbal ballpark are creams that you massage into the breasts. These include roughly the same active ingredients as the supplements, but they don’t have to fight through the digestive system and travel around your body to get to their destination. Some studies show that creams may be more effective, and work faster than pills. These are also pretty safe. If you have sensitive skin, or have had allergies to lotions or perfumes in the past, it might be best to try out a small amount on your arm or leg before slathering up your more tender areas.

These supplements and creams can help, but it is important to keep up a good overall health. You should strive to eat healthy foods and stay fit, both for your boobs and the rest of your body. A healthy, fit body looks best, no matter what size breasts you were born with. If you use products to help stimulate natural breast growth, they will work best if you are already in good health.

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Small Business Health Insurance – The Best Policy Is A Great Agent

I have been a health insurance broker for over a decade and every day I read more and more “horror” stories that are posted on the Internet regarding health insurance companies not paying claims, refusing to cover specific illnesses and physicians not getting reimbursed for medical services. Unfortunately, insurance companies are driven by profits, not people (albeit they need people to make profits). If the insurance company can find a legal reason not to pay a claim, chances are they will find it, and you the consumer will suffer. However, what most people fail to realize is that there are very few “loopholes” in an insurance policy that give the insurance company an unfair advantage over the consumer. In fact, insurance companies go to great lengths to detail the limitations of their coverage by giving the policy holders 10-days (a 10-day free look period) to review their policy. Unfortunately, most people put their insurance cards in their wallet and place their policy in a drawer or filing cabinet during their 10-day free look and it usually isn’t until they receive a “denial” letter from the insurance company that they take their policy out to really read through it.

The majority of people, who buy their own health insurance, rely heavily on the insurance agent selling the policy to explain the plan’s coverage and benefits. This being the case, many individuals who purchase their own health insurance plan can tell you very little about their plan, other than, what they pay in premiums and how much they have to pay to satisfy their deductible.

For many consumers, purchasing a health insurance policy on their own can be an enormous undertaking. Purchasing a health insurance policy is not like buying a car, in that, the buyer knows that the engine and transmission are standard, and that power windows are optional. A health insurance plan is much more ambiguous, and it is often very difficult for the consumer to determine what type of coverage is standard and what other benefits are optional. In my opinion, this is the primary reason that most policy holders don’t realize that they do not have coverage for a specific medical treatment until they receive a large bill from the hospital stating that “benefits were denied.”

Sure, we all complain about insurance companies, but we do know that they serve a “necessary evil.” And, even though purchasing health insurance may be a frustrating, daunting and time consuming task, there are certain things that you can do as a consumer to ensure that you are purchasing the type of health insurance coverage you really need at a fair price.

Dealing with small business owners and the self-employed market, I have come to the realization that it is extremely difficult for people to distinguish between the type of health insurance coverage that they “want” and the benefits they really “need.” Recently, I have read various comments on different Blogs advocating health plans that offer 100% coverage (no deductible and no-coinsurance) and, although I agree that those types of plans have a great “curb appeal,” I can tell you from personal experience that these plans are not for everyone. Do 100% health plans offer the policy holder greater peace of mind? Probably. But is a 100% health insurance plan something that most consumers really need? Probably not! In my professional opinion, when you purchase a health insurance plan, you must achieve a balance between four important variables; wants, needs, risk and price. Just like you would do if you were purchasing options for a new car, you have to weigh all these variables before you spend your money. If you are healthy, take no medications and rarely go to the doctor, do you really need a 100% plan with a $5 co-payment for prescription drugs if it costs you $300 dollars more a month?

Is it worth $200 more a month to have a $250 deductible and a $20 brand name/$10 generic Rx co-pay versus an 80/20 plan with a $2,500 deductible that also offers a $20 brand name/$10generic co-pay after you pay a once a year $100 Rx deductible? Wouldn’t the 80/20 plan still offer you adequate coverage? Don’t you think it would be better to put that extra $200 ($2,400 per year) in your bank account, just in case you may have to pay your $2,500 deductible or buy a $12 Amoxicillin prescription? Isn’t it wiser to keep your hard-earned money rather than pay higher premiums to an insurance company?

Yes, there are many ways you can keep more of the money that you would normally give to an insurance company in the form of higher monthly premiums. For example, the federal government encourages consumers to purchase H.S.A. (Health Savings Account) qualified H.D.H.P.’s (High Deductible Health Plans) so they have more control over how their health care dollars are spent. Consumers who purchase an HSA Qualified H.D.H.P. can put extra money aside each year in an interest bearing account so they can use that money to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses. Even procedures that are not normally covered by insurance companies, like Lasik eye surgery, orthodontics, and alternative medicines become 100% tax deductible. If there are no claims that year the money that was deposited into the tax deferred H.S.A can be rolled over to the next year earning an even higher rate of interest. If there are no significant claims for several years (as is often the case) the insured ends up building a sizeable account that enjoys similar tax benefits as a traditional I.R.A. Most H.S.A. administrators now offer thousands of no load mutual funds to transfer your H.S.A. funds into so you can potentially earn an even higher rate of interest.

In my experience, I believe that individuals who purchase their health plan based on wants rather than needs feel the most defrauded or “ripped-off” by their insurance company and/or insurance agent. In fact, I hear almost identical comments from almost every business owner that I speak to. Comments, such as, “I have to run my business, I don’t have time to be sick! “I think I have gone to the doctor 2 times in the last 5 years” and “My insurance company keeps raising my rates and I don’t even use my insurance!” As a business owner myself, I can understand their frustration. So, is there a simple formula that everyone can follow to make health insurance buying easier? Yes! Become an INFORMED consumer.

Every time I contact a prospective client or call one of my client referrals, I ask a handful of specific questions that directly relate to the policy that particular individual currently has in their filing cabinet or dresser drawer. You know the policy that they bought to protect them from having to file bankruptcy due to medical debt. That policy they purchased to cover that $500,000 life-saving organ transplant or those 40 chemotherapy treatments that they may have to undergo if they are diagnosed with cancer.

So what do you think happens almost 100% of the time when I ask these individuals “BASIC” questions about their health insurance policy? They do not know the answers! The following is a list of 10 questions that I frequently ask a prospective health insurance client. Let’s see how many YOU can answer without looking at your policy.

1. What Insurance Company are you insured with and what is the name of your health insurance plan? (e.g. Blue Cross Blue Shield-“Basic Blue”)

2. What is your calendar year deductible and would you have to pay a separate deductible for each family member if everyone in your family became ill at the same time? (e.g. The majority of health plans have a per person yearly deductible, for example, $250, $500, $1,000, or $2,500. However, some plans will only require you to pay a 2 person maximum deductible each year, even if everyone in your family needed extensive medical care.)

3. What is your coinsurance percentage and what dollar amount (stop loss) it is based on? (e.g. A good plan with 80/20 coverage means you pay 20% of some dollar amount. This dollar amount is also known as a stop loss and can vary based on the type of policy you purchase. Stop losses can be as little as $5,000 or $10,000 or as much as $20,000 or there are some policies on the market that have NO stop loss dollar amount.)

4. What is your maximum out of pocket expense per year? (e.g. All deductibles plus all coinsurance percentages plus all applicable access fees or other fees)

5. What is the Lifetime maximum benefit the insurance company will pay if you become seriously ill and does your plan have any “per illness” maximums or caps? (e.g. Some plans may have a $5 million lifetime maximum, but may have a maximum benefit cap of $100,000 per illness. This means that you would have to develop many separate and unrelated life-threatening illnesses costing $100,000 or less to qualify for $5 million of lifetime coverage.)

6. Is your plan a schedule plan, in that it only pays a certain amount for a specific list of procedures? (e.g., Mega Life & Health & Midwest National Life, endorsed by the National Association of the Self-Employed, N.A.S.E. is known for endorsing schedule plans) 7. Does your plan have doctor co-pays and are you limited to a certain number of doctor co-pay visits per year? (e.g. Many plans have a limit of how many times you go to the doctor per year for a co-pay and, quite often the limit is 2-4 visits.)

8. Does your plan offer prescription drug coverage and if it does, do you pay a co-pay for your prescriptions or do you have to meet a separate drug deductible before you receive any benefits and/or do you just have a discount prescription card only? (e.g. Some plans offer you prescription benefits right away, other plans require that you pay a separate drug deductible before you can receive prescription medication for a co-pay. Today, many plans offer no co-pay options and only provide you with a discount prescription card that gives you a 10-20% discount on all prescription medications).

9. Does your plan have any reduction in benefits for organ transplants and if so, what is the maximum your plan will pay if you need an organ transplant? (e.g. Some plans only pay a $100,000 maximum benefit for organ transplants for a procedure that actually costs $350-$500K and this $100,000 maximum may also include reimbursement for expensive anti-rejection medications that must be taken after a transplant. If this is the case, you will often have to pay for all anti-rejection medications out of pocket).

10. Do you have to pay a separate deductible or “access fee” for each hospital admission or for each emergency room visit? (e.g. Some plans, like the Assurant Health’s “CoreMed” plan have a separate $750 hospital admission fee that you pay for the first 3 days you are in the hospital. This fee is in addition to your plan deductible. Also, many plans have benefit “caps” or “access fees” for out-patient services, such as, physical therapy, speech therapy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, etc. Benefit “caps” could be as little as $500 for each out-patient treatment, leaving you a bill for the remaining balance. Access fees are additional fees that you pay per treatment. For example, for each outpatient chemotherapy treatment, you may be required to pay a $250 “access fee” per treatment. So for 40 chemotherapy treatments, you would have to pay 40 x $250 = $10,000. Again, these fees would be charged in addition to your plan deductible).

Now that you’ve read through the list of questions that I ask a prospective health insurance client, ask yourself how many questions you were able to answer. If you couldn’t answer all ten questions don’t be discouraged. That doesn’t mean that you are not a smart consumer. It may just mean that you dealt with a “bad” insurance agent. So how could you tell if you dealt with a “bad” insurance agent? Because a “great” insurance agent would have taken the time to help you really understand your insurance benefits. A “great” agent spends time asking YOU questions so s/he can understand your insurance needs. A “great” agent recommends health plans based on all four variables; wants, needs, risk and price. A “great” agent gives you enough information to weigh all of your options so you can make an informed purchasing decision. And lastly, a “great” agent looks out for YOUR best interest and NOT the best interest of the insurance company.

So how do you know if you have a “great” agent? Easy, if you were able to answer all 10 questions without looking at your health insurance policy, you have a “great” agent. If you were able to answer the majority of questions, you may have a “good” agent. However, if you were only able to answer a few questions, chances are you have a “bad” agent. Insurance agents are no different than any other professional. There are some insurance agents that really care about the clients they work with, and there are other agents that avoid answering questions and duck client phone calls when a message is left about unpaid claims or skyrocketing health insurance rates.

Remember, your health insurance purchase is just as important as purchasing a house or a car, if not more important. So don’t be afraid to ask your insurance agent a lot of questions to make sure that you understand what your health plan does and does not cover. If you don’t feel comfortable with the type of coverage that your agent suggests or if you think the price is too high, ask your agent if s/he can select a comparable plan so you can make a side by side comparison before you purchase. And, most importantly, read all of the “fine print” in your health plan brochure and when you receive your policy, take the time to read through your policy during your 10-day free look period.

If you can’t understand something, or aren’t quite sure what the asterisk (*) next to the benefit description really means in terms of your coverage, call your agent or contact the insurance company to ask for further clarification.

Furthermore, take the time to perform your own due diligence. For example, if you research MEGA Life and Health or the Midwest National Life insurance company, endorsed by the National Association for the Self Employed (NASE), you will find that there have been 14 class action lawsuits brought against these companies since 1995. So ask yourself, “Is this a company that I would trust to pay my health insurance claims?

Additionally, find out if your agent is a “captive” agent or an insurance “broker.” “Captive” agents can only offer ONE insurance company’s products.” Independent” agents or insurance “brokers” can offer you a variety of different insurance plans from many different insurance companies. A “captive” agent may recommend a health plan that doesn’t exactly meet your needs because that is the only plan s/he can sell. An “independent” agent or insurance “broker” can usually offer you a variety of different insurance products from many quality carriers and can often customize a plan to meet your specific insurance needs and budget.

Over the years, I have developed strong, trusting relationships with my clients because of my insurance expertise and the level of personal service that I provide. This is one of the primary reasons that I do not recommend buying health insurance on the Internet. In my opinion, there are too many variables that Internet insurance buyers do not often take into consideration. I am a firm believer that a health insurance purchase requires the level of expertise and personal attention that only an insurance professional can provide. And, since it does not cost a penny more to purchase your health insurance through an agent or broker, my advice would be to use eBay and Amazon for your less important purchases and to use a knowledgeable, ethical and reputable independent agent or broker for one of the most important purchases you will ever make….your health insurance policy.

Lastly, if you have any concerns about an insurance company, contact your state’s Department of Insurance BEFORE you buy your policy. Your state’s Department of Insurance can tell you if the insurance company is registered in your state and can also tell you if there have been any complaints against that company that have been filed by policy holders. If you suspect that your agent is trying to sell you a fraudulent insurance policy, (e.g. you have to become a member of a union to qualify for coverage) or isn’t being honest with you, your state’s Department of Insurance can also check to see if your agent is licensed and whether or not there has ever been any disciplinary action previously taken against that agent.

In closing, I hope I have given you enough information so you can become an INFORMED insurance consumer. However, I remain convinced that the following words of wisdom still go along way: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!” and “If you only buy on price, you get what you pay for!”

©2007 Small Business Insurance Services, Inc.

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