Showing posts with label Health Insurance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Health Insurance. Show all posts

Monday, December 5, 2016

Can I Use the Free FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card if I’m Insured?

 The Free FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card and app is for everyone – period. Regardless of whether or not you have insurance, the card and app can help you save an average of 43% off the cost of prescriptions and ensure that you’re paying the lowest possible price.

We understand that it can be a bit confusing – shouldn’t your insurance coverage alone provide you with the best price? Unfortunately, the answer is no; insurance is not a guarantee that you’ll pay the lowest price.

To help ease any confusion, here are the key things you need to know about the Free FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card and app:
  • They help you to save an average of 43 percent on your prescriptions
  • They are free for everyone 
  • They can be used nationwide at more than 60,000 pharmacies, including national chains as well as local neighborhood pharmacies 
  • There is no registration process, activation, or restrictions for who can use them 
  • They have unlimited use, so show you can use them on every prescription and refill – but you have to show the card or the app every time 
  • Anyone can use your card or app – friends, family members, and even neighbors

What if I have insurance?

The discounts you get on prescription purchases with your FamilyWize card or app are the same for those with insurance as for those without – either way you pay our lowest available price. So why use it?
  1. You can save on prescription drugs that are excluded by your insurance plan or are not covered because you have exceeded your insurance plan's maximum limits.
  2. In some cases, the FamilyWize price is actually lower than your program's co-payment amount, so it’s always worth checking to compare the prices. 
  3. If your insurance plan does not offer you a drug card and you are reimbursed after each transaction, you may be able to use the FamilyWize card or app to lower your out-of-pocket expenses.

How can I start saving?

You can start saving today! Here’s how:
  • Download the FamilyWize app to your smart phone from Google Play or the Apple App Store — or, alternatively, print out the FamilyWize card.
  • When you go to the pharmacy, bring your prescription and your free FamilyWize card with you, or simply bring your smartphone if you downloaded the app. 
  • When you speak to your pharmacist, present your card or app and ask them for the best price.
To check for participating pharmacies and to comparison shop for the pharmacy with the highest discount, use our Drug Price Lookup Tool. That’s it! With FamilyWize you can rest assured that you’re always paying the lowest price.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Health Insurance Glossary: 10 Terms to Know

Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA or ObamaCare) went into effect, the uninsured rate in the United States has reached record lows. But, there is still great confusion when it comes to health insurance information. Many Americans can’t even define basic health insurance terminology if prompted. A recent study in the state of Texas found:
  • 25% of respondents, regardless of insurance status, lack confidence in understanding basic health insurance terms like “deductible,” “premium,” and “copayment”
  • 40% of respondents with an individual plan expressed lack of confidence in understanding “co-insurance” and “maximum out-of-pocket expenses”
  • More than 33% of respondents with an individual plan said they were confused by what counts toward a deductible and what health services were covered under their plan

We get it – health insurance terminology is tricky, but understanding the language will bring you one step closer to better managing your health and maximizing your insurance plan. To help, FamilyWize has compiled a list of the top 10 terms you need to know when it comes to health insurance. Bookmark this post for future use, and be sure to share it with family and friends!

People and Organizations Involved in Your Plan

  • Dependent: Any individual, either spouse or child, that is covered by the primary insured member’s plan.
  • Network: The group of doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers that insurance companies contract with to provide services at discounted rates. You will generally pay less for services received from providers in your network. You can usually check which providers are in your network on your insurance company’s website or by calling. You can also call your provider and ask!

Fees and Costs Associated with Your Plan

  • Co-pay: The flat fee you pay for certain medical expenses. Example: You pay a fee of $10 for every doctor visit, but then the insurance company pays the rest.
  • Coinsurance: Your share of the costs of a covered healthcare service, calculated as a percentage (for example, 20%) of the allowed amount for the service. You generally pay coinsurance in addition to any deductibles you owe. (For example, if your plan’s allowed amount for an office visit is $100, and you’ve met your deductible, your coinsurance payment of 20% would be $20. The health insurance or plan pays the rest of the allowed amount.)
  • Deductible: The dollar amount (example: $1,000) you pay each year, after which insurance protection begins. You pay expenses up to the deductible amount and then the insurance company pays the remainder, up to the policy limit (Example: $50,000). Some plans pay for certain healthcare services before you’ve met your deductible.
  • Premium: The payment you provide to the insurance company in exchange for insurance coverage. In some cases, your employer may cover this expense (or part of it).
  • Maximum Out-of-Pocket Expenses: The most money you will pay during a year for coverage. This includes deductibles, co-pays, and coinsurance, but is in addition to your regular premiums. Beyond this amount, the insurance company will pay all expenses for the remainder of the year.
  • Cost for Choosing Out-of-Network Services: A doctor, hospital or pharmacy that is not part of your health plan's network of preferred providers. You will generally pay more for services received from out-of-network providers.

Affordable Care Act 

  • Affordable Care Act (ACA; ObamaCare): Signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010, the ACA was enacted to increase the quality and affordability of health insurance, lower the amount of uninsured individuals by expanding public and private insurance coverage, and reduce the costs of healthcare for individuals and for the government.
  • Preventive Care Services: Services like vaccinations and other key screenings that are required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and are offered at no cost to you through private insurance plans. 
For a complete list of insurance-related terms, refer to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid’s full glossary.

FamilyWize is here to help you better navigate the complicated and ever-changing healthcare marketplace. Our free prescription discount card is available for everyone to use – whether you are insured, underinsured or uninsured. Remember to always carry the card with you (or download our free app), and present it to the pharmacist each time, to ensure you receive the lowest price possible on your medications.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

26 and Uninsured...Drastic Measures for Insurance Coverage

You know that saying, "drastic times call for drastic measures?" 

I never truly knew the murky meaning behind that saying until a few weeks ago. 

health insurance
Back then, we worried about
 what to dress to put on our barbies, not health insurance.
As much as it drives me crazy when she permanently borrows my clothes and uses all of my shampoo when she visits, putting sibling rivalry aside, my older sister Kathryn is pretty awesome. Plus, she got the cooking gene in the family and can make a mean jar of homemade pickles - mmmmm.

But two weeks ago at a family get-together, my sister said something not so awesome that almost made me choke on my turkey hoagie.  Something I never thought would trek through my ears--not for at least a couple more years.

You see, my sister's 26th birthday is tip-toeing nearer as we get closer to September - another year older (and usually wiser! Joke!)  But seriously, this is one birthday she is not looking forward to because as of September 30th, she will lose her health benefits.  Under the Affordable Care Act, she currently is able to get insurance coverage through our parents until she is 26.  According to a recent report published by Commonwealth Fund, she is one of the 6.6 million young adults that President Obama's health care law helped stay or be put back on their parent's health plan.  That's fantastic, but as of her 26th birthday, it's sayonara Kathryn- you are on your own!

I know the suspense is killing you.  Wondering what she said that didn't sit so well with me?

Hint - Health Care Insurance to the Extreme!

She shared that she is thinking about marrying her boyfriend of four years purely so she can be covered under his health insurance plan offered through his job.  WHAT!?  I had to put my fingers in my ears! 

I was expecting we're in love; I have his promise ring; or we've been together for four years.  I've always known he was the one for her and that they are going to get married eventually, but to marry because of her health insurance dilemma.  Is that OK?
26 uninsured
Can you tell which one of us will lose our  health insurance? 
Under different circumstances, I would be elated if she was getting married.  (Being her only sister, I would assume I would be a bridesmaid in her wedding.)  But how far should a person really go to have health insurance?  What is the cost of health care for people like my sister?  Is sacrificing her dream dress, wedding venue, and first dance for a quick exchange of vows at the courthouse the answer?  Will "Til I get insurance do we part" be their wedding vows?

If you're wondering how my sister got to this fork in the road,  Kathryn was only doing what most young adults are encouraged to do--go to college.  We live in a society where fostering minds with education is pivotal to success.  Time just ran out for her.  A switch in majors and schools set Kathryn back (FYI - not all junior college credits transfer to four year schools).

Even though we are almost three years apart, we ended up graduating hours apart on the same day last May. I received my bachelor's in four years at the age of 22 and she received hers in six years at the age of 25.  I have an ample amount of time until I hit 26, while Kathryn only had a year to find a full-time job which offered benefits.

Unable to obtain a full-time teaching job due to the combination of an abysmal job market and the amount of graduated teachers she has to compete with, she has filled in her time as a substitute teacher.  She recently started a part-time job as a science educator, but working part-time does not qualify her for benefits to help with prescription medications or doctor visits. 

health care options
A bird? A plane? Look Kathryn,
there are options for you other than marriage!
According to the same report, out of the more than 1,800 young adults surveyed nationwide, nearly 2 in 5 young adults ages 19 to 29 reported a gap in health insurance in 2011.  Those numbers are a little scary. What's a girl like my sister supposed to do? I told her we would figure it out together.  As long as she makes me her famous red velvet cupcakes!  That's fair, right?

What lengths would you go to for medical insurance?  Please share!! (No judgment here!)

Krysta W.