Volume 2, Number 10
Monthly News On Products Promoting Healthcare Cost Transparency And Healthy Living Tips
IN THIS ISSUE...

  • SERVICES OFFERED BY US CORPORATE WELLNESS ARE INCLUDED IN ALL FIVE HEALTHY CARE OPTION PROGRAMS
  • NEW INSURED HEALTH PLANS EXPOSE THE INSURED TO MORE RISK
  • BEATING PAIN WITHOUT PRESCRIPTION DRUGS
This monthly newsletter contains information about medical cost sharing programs as well as health insurance plans offered through insurance companies that promote healthcare cost transparency. It provides information about tools designed to maintain or regain your health, articles on health and wellness, and information on complementary and integrative health. It also contains information on other cost-transparent products and services you can purchase or utilize to supplement either your medical cost sharing program or your insured health insurance plan.
SERVICES OFFERED BY US CORPORATE WELLNESS ARE INCLUDED IN ALL FIVE HEALTHY CARE OPTION PROGRAMS
The AVOID portion of the healthy care strategy that is included with ALL Health Excellence Plus offerings includes these services offered through US Corporate Wellness, which is based in Littleton, Colorado:

  • Personalized, high-participation wellness coaching, built around an active approach (vs. traditional passive model)
  • Comprehensive Web Portal with a wide range of tools and resources
  • Customizable incentive tracker and reporting
  • Mobile Apps Team and Individual Challenges
  • Health Risk Assessment (HRA+)
  • Ongoing Strategic Planning Activity Monitor (such as FitBit)
  • Elite Endurance Team Access
  • Quarterly Wellness Champion Huddles
  • 24/7 Administrative Dashboard with access to participation, satisfaction surveys and more

While personal accountability is a central component of all US Corporate Wellness programs, it is supported through personal engagement and an  individualized  improvement process. Rather than trying to change the core of an individual from the outside, US Corporate Wellness works  with  the individual in a meaningful way to help create a tomorrow that is a little better than today .

US Corporate Wellness is one of only nine organizations to be accredited as a Comprehensive Wellness Provider by URAC, an independent non-profit accrediting agency located in Washington, DC.
NEW INSURED HEALTH PLANS EXPOSE THE INSURED TO MORE RISK
According to an article written by Julie Appleby of Kaiser Health News and published in Employee Benefit Adviser, insurance carriers like Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina and Bind Benefits (a Minnesota start-up partnering with United Healthcare) are offering insurance policies based on creative interpretations of the Affordable Care Act. 

These insured policies differ substantially from shared amounts available through medical cost sharing and can expose participants to significant additional liability. Premiums are 15% to 30% lower than conventional insured offerings (monthly share contributions under medical cost sharing are generally lower than these premiums), but prospective members need to make sure they understand the limitations and restrictions included in these plans.

Those looking into these plans, where available, should especially consider how these plans compare against programs like Health Excellence Plus , which does not expose members to the additional risks that come with using these plans

The plan offered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina offers lower premiums but uses no network. As a result the plan is able to offer higher out-of-pocket maximums because under the ACA out-of-pocket maximums apply to network plans (ACA out-of-pocket maximums for 2019 are $7,900 in-network and $15,800 out-of-network). These plans reimburse providers 140% of what is called “Medicare Allowable” expenses but providers are permitted to “balance bill” above that amount. Furthermore, policyholders need to file their own claims and must negotiate their own discounts with hospitals and doctors. 

In contrast, Health Excellence Plus members have no additional out-of-pocket expenses once they meet their chosen Individual Unshareable Amount (except for certain conditions listed in Sections 8 and 9 of the Sharing Guidelines) and the medical cost sharing provider has considerable expertise in and negotiates discounts directly with providers.

The plan offered by Blind does away with annual deductibles but requires policyholders to pay extra if they need certain surgeries and procedures. This plan complies with the Affordable Care Act because these additional payments are characterized as “premiums,” and premiums don’t count against out-of-pocket maximums. Depending on which “self-funded plan” offered through Health Excellence Plus a member chooses , these plans can pay for basic services. If a member chooses one of the five healthy care option plans (i.e. Self-Directed, Partially Self-Directed, Co Pay Network, Direct Primary Care, or Provider-Directed) that are offered through Health Excellence Plus there are no additional monthly contributions nor are there generally any unshareable expenses once the member meets his or her chosen Individual Unshareable Amount.

New insured offerings will be coming to market but we encourage prospective policyholders to compare those offerings against the Health Excellenc e Plus healthy care option offerings. In most cases Health Excellence Plus will offer protection at a lower outlay AND will also help members focus on avoiding and preventing incurring medical expenses in the first place.
BEATING PAIN WITHOUT PRESCRIPTION DRUGS
Research shows there really are effective ways to tame pain without using prescription drugs.

For the many years Christina Wei, 52, of Albany, Calif., suffered from back pain, she didn’t do so passively. But seeking out acupuncturists and chiropractors, experimenting with back braces and different types of mattresses — even consulting a posture specialist — never quite solved the problem. “Nothing really worked,” she says. “Or something would kind of work but only very briefly and then I’d feel the pain all over again.”

Wei’s experience is not unusual. Some 50 million — or 1 in 5 — adult Americans live with the misery and frustration of  chronic pain , defined as pain that persists beyond the expected time of healing from an injury or beyond a certain duration of time, usually three to six months.

The issue can be compounded in people over 50. “They are likely to have more than one pain problem, such as osteoarthritis or pain associated with nerve injuries,” says Charles Argoff, M.D., a professor of neurology and director of the Comprehensive Pain Center at Albany Medical Center in Albany, N.Y. But chronic pain is finally getting some overdue attention, in part due to the nation’s opioid epidemic, which could lead to better ways of measuring and treating it.  

Read the entire article here .
About Paul Cholak
Paul Cholak is the Principal of Control Your Healthcare Costs, LLC (dba Control Your Healthcare Costs) and is an endorsed vendor of the Free Market Medical Association, which promotes transparency in healthcare costs and programs. He's also a Partner/Supporter of the Direct Primary Care Coalition, which promotes the direct primary care provider concept.

He constantly seeks to find new and innovative products that incorporate transparency and focus on reducing costs of the total healthcare bill.

He's a National Healthcare Advisor for  M Powering Benefits , a Certified Affiliate with Sedera Health, and is also appointed by insurance carriers who offer insured products that promote healthcare transparency (for example Health Indemnity insurance).

He offers or refers you to medical cost sharing and insured healthcare products on either an individual, association, or group basis, as applicable, that promote healthcare cost transparency and can result in significant overall healthcare savings to participants. He guides you through the steps of obtaining membership in the applicable program and is always available to help you both BEFORE and AFTER you've enrolled.
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