Friday, April 1, 2011

Ways to be a wise consumer

WCCO News recently reported about Gov. Mark Dayton ordering competitive bidding for state contracts and a new level of financial disclosure. The story grabbed my attention since I have over twenty years of medical insurance experience plus it shouts Be The Change!

Real reform begs each of us, from legislators to healthcare consumers, to have a renewed focus on where our money is going. We must consider how much bang we get for our buck not only in the quality our dollar purchases in healthcare, but also in terms of insurance reimbursement standards.

The days are over when consumers only concern is insurance out of pocket costs in comparison to their premiums. Consumers have a type of vested interest in the ways medical insurance administration act as wise stewards with our healthcare dollars, which translates into available healthcare options and overall costs. It all goes hand in hand.

Be The Change supports financial disclosure and bidding competition for health plans. It’s necessary to build new pathways for some much needed change in that healthcare arena. Corporate profit can not continue to dictate the choices patients and families must then struggle to cope with, especially in the case of chronic and rare diseases.

Cub or Rainbow isn’t the only place we need to be wise consumers. Insurance choices such as a Health Savings Account and other similar plans is creating a product awareness that puts much needed focus on the cost of healthcare services rendered in relation to insurance coverage. Health insurance companies play a big role in the healthcare environment and need to reform along with everyone else.

Ask your clinic, hospital, pharmacy and even your insurance company about the varying competitive costs of services and reimbursement rates. Information is powerful therefore shop around, get more equipped to make wise consumer decisions and Be The Change!

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