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Medical Update: More costs likely to be passed on to consumers.

Posted By admin || 29-Oct-2009

Medical Costs are Rising

According to an article this Sunday in the Dallas Morning News, "It's open season, and time to rethink your health plan," this is the year to rework and review your health insurance coverage. Over the last several months, many workers crammed in last minute medical care in anticipation of job loss and thereby insurance coverage.  As a result, insurance companies paid out a higher numbers of claims and incurred more expenses.  Those same companies are now passing the expenses on to consumers like you in the form of higher premiums and changes in coverage.

The article warns workers to pay extra attention to their open enrollment forms this year.  Either because of complacence or convenience, many people simply sign their open enrollment forms each year and continue on.  The DMA article strong encourages you to review your forms this year in particular for changes.  Look for changes in deductibles, premiums, and coverage options.  Many carriers are expected to obviously increase premiums for coverage, which means your employer is likely to pass some of those costs on to you.

Also look for changes in what the program will cover.  If you have regular services or medications, make sure that your plan will still pay for them.  The main goal is to understand what your potential medical liability is so that you can effectively plan for those expenses.  If you don't understand a plan or you need for information, review the summary plan descriptions and talk to your human resources department for clarification.  After you understand what's available, your debt management approach can become more proactive in the form of maximizing flexible spending accounts, generic prescription plans, and good budgeting.

Not surprisingly, the main message is that costs are rising, so be prepared to pay more for medical care.  Even with the best planning, however, medical bills tend to blind side people.  Flexible spending accounts can be quickly absorbed by one medium, not necessarily major, illness or injury.  More plans are raising the co-pays for non-generic prescriptions in an effort to force more consumers to opt for generics.

The concept is generally palatable, except when no generics are available and you're stuck with a $50+ per month co-pay.  Before you can get one bill paid, another one seems to trickle in behind that last one.  Meaning, that unlike credit card debt or regular expenses, it can be almost impossible to control medical expenses, especially when you are experiencing a medical emergency situation.

Congress is still debating and likely to continue debating the best way to control health care expenses.  In the mean time, you're still stuck with the after trauma of a huge medical bill.  If you are overwhelmed by medical debt , an immediate option available to you is bankruptcy.  Many people don't like the concept of bankruptcy, but it is important to review it as an option because it is one of the few relief mechanisms available to a wide range of consumers.

You don't have fill out twenty pages of red tape just to get into the door of some government agency to see if you begin to qualify for help. You do need to make an accurate list of what your obligations are so that you can review them with a bankruptcy attorney.  A qualified bankruptcy attorney can then work you through the process and file your petition for you.  They will also serve as your advocate to guide you through the process, so you don't have to be alone through the process.  The best cure for a high medical debt is bankruptcy.  Contact a qualified attorney in the Dallas-Fort Worth area today to get a consultation today.

Categories: Medical Bills
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