Showing posts with label prescriptions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label prescriptions. Show all posts

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.

Monday, May 2, 2016

The #1 Way to Save on Prescriptions


Here’s something you may not know – there is a free, easy way to save on your prescriptions:

The FREE FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card!

FamilyWize offers their prescription savings card to lower the cost you pay for your prescriptions.

It’s simple and here’s how it works: 

  • FamilyWize acts like a big buying group, pulling together millions of people to receive competitive pricing on prescriptions. These people either have no health insurance (the uninsured), have high medication costs (the insured), or need to buy medicine not covered by their plan (the underinsured). 
  • FamilyWize negotiates with the pharmacies to get discounts similar to what they give large groups like insurance companies and employers.
  • FamilyWize passes 100% of these negotiated discounts to the people using the card to purchase their medicine – whether you have insurance or not. Yes, you read that right, we do not take a cut of the savings. All of the savings are yours.
  • In 2015, the average savings was 43%

Now you might be thinking there is probably a loophole, so you can’t use the card. Guess what? Anyone can use the card. Here are the facts:
  • The card is FREE – whether you download the app, print the card from the FamilyWize website or request a card to be sent via the mail. You pay nothing. Ever.
  • Anyone can use the card. You do not need to register or meet any eligibility criteria and you can share the card with family and friends!
  • The card can be used on all FDA-approved prescription medications and it has unlimited use at more than 60,000 pharmacies nationwide. Yes, the card works for your refills, too!
 Time for you to start saving:
  • Get the card (whether it’s the app or a physical, printed card). Anyone can get the card – have we mentioned that yet? It’s free.
  • Bring your prescription and the FamilyWize card to one of the participating pharmacies. You have to show it every time, and the card has unlimited use. Before you go you can even use our Drug Lookup Tool to see the price you’ll end up paying.
  • You will get the lowest price on your prescription. This may be the pharmacy’s price, it may be the insurance price (if you have insurance), or it could be our price. No matter what, you will be paying the lowest possible amount for that prescription. You will save an average of 8 times out of 10 over the pharmacy's retail price.
  • Even if you have insurance, you can use the card to 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. In some instances, you might find that the FamilyWize price is lower than your program's co-payment amount.
 We’ve helped people save more than $1 billion on prescription costs, and we only want that number to increase. Start saving today! Try the card and spread the word today!
 
 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Thyroid Awareness Month: What You Need to Know

What is your thyroid? It’s a tiny butterfly-shaped gland in your neck, and while it may be small, thyroid issues can cause a whole range of serious health problems that can result in expensive medical bills. January is Thyroid Awareness Month, making it a great time to learn more about this important part of your body.

The thyroid is one of your endocrine glands, which produces hormones that affect your breathing, digestion, and heart rate. It helps you use energy, stay warm, and keep your organs working properly; In addition, your thyroid plays a role in regulating your body temperature. The more hormones your thyroid produces, the faster these systems in your body go. These systems working together are known as your metabolism.

According to the National Institute of Health, about 1 in 20 Americans over the age of 12 have an underactive thyroid, a condition known as hyperthyroidism. This causes bodily functions to slow down. A much smaller number of Americans, about 1 in 100, have hypothyroidism, an overactive thyroid, which can also cause problems.

Aside from these conditions, other health issues related to your thyroid include goiter, when your thyroid gland enlarges, thyroiditis or swelling of the thyroid, and thyroid nodules, which appear as small lumps in your neck. Thyroid nodules are extremely common and usually harmless, but it’s best to have them checked by a doctor to make sure they aren’t related to thyroid cancer.

In many cases, a thyroid condition can be difficult to diagnose, because the symptoms can seem unrelated. If you have an overactive thyroid, you may be prescribed medication that will help you regulate the flow of hormones. For an underactive thyroid, artificial hormones can help.

The cost of prescription medication can really add up, especially if you take them each month for long-term conditions or chronic diseases. If you’re looking for ways to save on your prescription medication bills, or simply interested in spending less money, free prescription savings card like the one offered by FamilyWize can be a great option.



The FamilyWize card can save you up to 75% off the total cost of your prescription medication, simply by showing it to your pharmacist when you pick up your prescription. It even works if you have insurance - simply show the pharmacist your FamilyWize card in addition to your insurance card, and ask for the lowest price. So if you’re taking medication for your thyroid, or are simply trying to spend less money in the New Year, print out a free FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card or download the free app on your smartphone!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Ring in the New Year With a Resolution to Save!

The holiday season has come to a close, and resolutions have been set for the New Year. Now comes the hard part - sticking with them! According to Nielsen, the most popular resolutions include getting healthier, getting organized, and spending less money. However, research shows that 92% of Americans fail to achieve the resolutions they set.

Why does this happen? There are several reasons. Many people set unrealistic goals, while others don't develop a plan - they set a resolution without knowing how they're going to achieve it. 

By setting small, manageable goals and taking concrete steps to meet them, reaching your New Year's resolution suddenly becomes much easier. And if you're trying to save money in 2016, your medicine cabinet can be one of the best places to start. This year, help meet your New Year's resolutions by being smart with your prescriptions!

The first step to saving money with your medication is to make sure you are using them properly. Check the labels to make sure you are taking your medications as prescribed and that you are storing them correctly. While many Americans attempt to cut healthcare costs by taking less medication than they've been instructed, this ultimately has the opposite effect: the cost of non-adherence to the healthcare system is an estimated $290 billion annually.

If you're taking any name-brand medications, you may want to try talking to your doctor to see if there are any generic alternatives he or she can recommend. In many cases, generic medication can be a less expensive, but equally effective option. For more information, see our earlier blog post about generic prescription medication.

Even if you take generic drugs, prescriptions can often be costly, especially if you don't have insurance. That's why it's smart to take advantage of prescription savings cards like the one offered by FamilyWize. These cards can be a great resource for saving more on your medication and staying healthy.

The FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card offers an average savings of 42% on retail prescription prices and has no eligibility requirements. You can use it whether you're insured or uninsured, and getting savings is easy - simply show it to your pharmacist when you're picking up a prescription, and ask them for the lowest price.  You can also compare prices in your neighborhood at home by using the FamilyWize Drug Price Lookup Tool.  

You can print out or order your own FamilyWize card on our website, or download the free smartphone app, available on iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone. It’s a great tool for saving money, even if you have insurance, so make sure to always bring your FamilyWize card when you're making a trip to the pharmacy. Happy New Year, and enjoy the savings!