Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
High Deductible Health Insurance -- Golden Rule
Old 09-21-2009, 02:49 PM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 70
High Deductible Health Insurance -- Golden Rule

We just signed up with Golden Rule. If you are familiar with the mechanics of GR claim processing perhaps you can help me. I am assuming that I ask the service provider to submit a claim even if we have not satisfied our deductible and this how to track charges. The same for filling prescriptions, correct? Will we be charged 'retail' or a price negotiated by the insurance company.

Thanks in advance.
__________________

__________________
prubin is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 09-21-2009, 02:59 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,113
Prubin, file all non-prescription claims with the insurer prior to paying for services. If the provider insists on payment up-front, agree to only pay a portion of the amount. The amount your insurer authorizes will likely be significantly lower than what you are initially billed and this will prevent overpayment and fighting for reimbursement. And yes, this is the only way your insurer will be able to track your expenses towards your deductible.
__________________

__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2009, 03:03 PM   #3
Moderator Emeritus
Rich_by_the_Bay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 8,827
I agree with REW.

BTW, more and more practices are expecting at least the estimated patient deductible or co-pay at the time of service. It's tough enough for them to accept what insurance "allows" without having to float hundreds of little interest-free "loans" to all your patients as you wait for their carrier to adjudicate the claim.
__________________
Rich
San Francisco Area
ESR'd March 2010. FIRE'd January 2011.

As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
Rich_by_the_Bay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2009, 03:27 PM   #4
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 70
Thanks to REW and Rich for your speedy replies.

Paul
__________________
prubin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2009, 03:27 PM   #5
Recycles dryer sheets
Tesaje's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Frederick
Posts: 333
I have Aetna this year and that's the way it worked for me. The provider charged me nothing, then billed my insurance co. The insurance co. logged the amount that they have negotiated with the in-program providers (about half of the "normal" charges), then the provider sent me a bill. My optometrist did a separate billing - they had it all automated so they knew instantly what my insurance allowed and logged it with them, then had me pay right there. It got onto my account with the insurance co. correctly. On the other hand, my allergist never did bill me at all and that was about 6 months ago. Another handy thing is that they could charge my HSA debit card like a credit card over the phone.

So far, both the medical costs and insurance costs have saved me about 2/3's of what I was paying for the HMO and co-pays. It is strange to walk in and out without paying anything.
__________________
I FIREd myself at start of 2010!
Tesaje is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2009, 03:48 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
IndependentlyPoor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Austin
Posts: 1,142
I have to say that doctors and insurance companies have things worked out now MUCH better than a few years ago. When I was taking care of my Mother's medical bills and insurance, statements from doctors would trickle in for months afterwards, often for the wrong amount, which ended up delaying their payment for another month. Keeping track of it was a major PITA.

I just got off the phone with the billing clerk for a doctor I will be seeing Wednesday. They knew to the penny how much my insurance would allow and I paid with a credit card over the phone and got the receipt via email. Sweet.

I have a sort of weird policy with Aetna that only pays 50%. (Why is for another thread.) Even so, Wednesday's procedure cost $4000 some-odd dollars, the negotiated rate was $500-something and my co-pay was 1/2 of that. Amazing. Pity the poor schlub without insurance. $4K for an outpatient procedure. Can you imagine?
__________________
IndependentlyPoor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2009, 04:25 PM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 13,277
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
I agree with REW.

BTW, more and more practices are expecting at least the estimated patient deductible or co-pay at the time of service. It's tough enough for them to accept what insurance "allows" without having to float hundreds of little interest-free "loans" to all your patients as you wait for their carrier to adjudicate the claim.
I will agree with Rich... but I guess since he is living it he would know...

When my wife had foot surgery... the hospital wanted a 'down payment' that was very close to the final amount that we owed... I think within $100. We did not pay any of the doctors up front, but they were mostly covered by that time... but we still paid a bill here and there...

My biggest surprise was the insurance discount... seemed to be 2/3rd to 3/4s of the bill...
__________________
Texas Proud is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2009, 07:04 PM   #8
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by IndependentlyPoor View Post
I have to say that doctors and insurance companies have things worked out now MUCH better than a few years ago. When I was taking care of my Mother's medical bills and insurance, statements from doctors would trickle in for months afterwards, often for the wrong amount, which ended up delaying their payment for another month. Keeping track of it was a major PITA.
IMHO the doctors and insurance companies have set the bar so low that we are thrilled with the pursuit of mediocrity. When I left California I had to give up my Kaiser coverage and I miss it. The medical care and the patient experience were excellent. No trickling of statements from doctors and labs. One copay, no statements. Doctors request lab tests and meds on-line. When you show up at the lab or pharmacy they know exactly what was ordered. No paper or questionable handwriting. Lab results are emailed to you with links to web pages explaining how to interpret results. On-line appointments scheduling -- no phone calls time spent on hold. Kaiser has squeezed lots of overhead out of the process and the lower premiums reflect it.
__________________
prubin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2009, 10:03 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,282
Quote:
Originally Posted by prubin View Post
IMHO the doctors and insurance companies have set the bar so low that we are thrilled with the pursuit of mediocrity. When I left California I had to give up my Kaiser coverage and I miss it. ..... Kaiser has squeezed lots of overhead out of the process and the lower premiums reflect it.
So simply breaking down the state-by-state insurance regulations so that all ins would be competing nation-wide could be a big step in cutting costs. And it wouldn't require any big major overhaul of the present system, which scares a lot of people.

It wouldn't solve everything , but it would be a start. And if it worked well, it would build some confidence and maybe the govt could bring in some "phase II" project? At least we'd save money in the meantime.

The cynic in me says that the *last* thing the govt wants to do is make private ins more competitive. That softens the demand to have the govt do it all, so they can have more control and have more people indebted to them and have more cushy jobs to hand out.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2009, 01:18 AM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
youbet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 9,965
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
The cynic in me says that the *last* thing the govt wants to do is make private ins more competitive. That softens the demand to have the govt do it all, so they can have more control and have more people indebted to them and have more cushy jobs to hand out.

-ERD50
Yes, there's a bit of cynicism there........
__________________
"I wasn't born blue blood. I was born blue-collar." John Wort Hannam
youbet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2009, 01:20 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,282
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
The cynic in me says that the *last* thing the govt wants to do is make private ins more competitive. That softens the demand to have the govt do it all, so they can have more control and have more people indebted to them and have more cushy jobs to hand out.

-ERD50
Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet View Post
Yes, there's a bit of cynicism there........
Turns out I was not cynical enough

A First! Wolf Blitzer asks David Axelrod Some Tough Questions | Chicago Daily Observer

Hot Air » Blog Archive » Video: Axelrod not comprehending what “competition” means

Quote:
AXELROD: ... But what is very important is that we have the kind of competition and choice that will help consumers. In many states in this country, there’s one insurer that dominates the entire market. In Alabama, one insured dominates 87 percent. In North Dakota, there’s one insurer that dominates…

BLITZER: So why not break down…

AXELROD: …the market almost completely.

BLITZER: Why not break down the state barriers and let all of these insurance companies compete nationally without having to simply focus in on a state by state basis?

AXELROD: Because we are trying to do this in a way that advances the — the interests of consumers without creating such disruption that it makes it difficult to to move forward.

BLITZER: Why would that be disruptive?
If Blue Cross and Blue Shield or United Health Care or all of these big insurance companies, they don’t have to worry about just working in a state, they could just have the opportunity to compete in all 50 states?

AXELROD: But insurance is regulated at the — at this time, Wolf…

BLITZER: But you could change that. The president could propose…

AXELROD: …state by state.

BLITZER: The president could propose a law…

AXELROD: That is not…

BLITZER: …changing that.

AXELROD: That is not endemic to the kind of reforms that we’re proposing or that…
IOW - that is NOT what we want to do. Period.

They don't want to help people, they want control (or make 50% of the people dependent on them, which brings control). No cynicism, just appears to be the facts.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2009, 02:37 PM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Gotadimple's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,761
As I said in another thread when discussing the public option to encourage competition: why not just change the law at the federal level and require the state insurance commissioners to administer the 'competitive law?'

Would be cheaper, and easier, but then my tax dollars would have no place to work!

But then the competitive option smacks of restraint of trade. You can't compel a company to do business in a state, so the only way to give the impression of competition is to start your own company (public option).


-- Rita
__________________
Only got A dimple, would have preferred 2!
Gotadimple is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2009, 03:07 PM   #13
Recycles dryer sheets
Tesaje's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Frederick
Posts: 333
I'm sorry but that Blitzer-Axelrod dialog was so incoherent it is hard to glean any real conclusion out of it. It sounded more like both parties were trying to get a sound bite and dodge any real statements. Until we have an actual bill to examine, it is all sound and fury signifying nothing.

Oh yeah, you give the govt way too much credit - it isn't conspiratorial or organized enough to have any real conspiracy to take your rights from you any more than social security or medicare has. Now insurance companies and big pharma - they do!
__________________
I FIREd myself at start of 2010!
Tesaje is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2009, 03:07 PM   #14
Moderator
ziggy29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,612
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gotadimple View Post
But then the competitive option smacks of restraint of trade. You can't compel a company to do business in a state, so the only way to give the impression of competition is to start your own company (public option).
True, but you can allow the purchase of insurance across state lines as an alternative way to get more competition. Seems to me that's well within the interstate commerce powers of Congress. I don't think that's a cure-all for the competition issue, but it's a down payment...
__________________
"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
ziggy29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2009, 07:36 PM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Gotadimple's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,761
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
True, but you can allow the purchase of insurance across state lines as an alternative way to get more competition. Seems to me that's well within the interstate commerce powers of Congress. I don't think that's a cure-all for the competition issue, but it's a down payment...
I agree Ziggy, but most states have two components that affect interstate commerce: (1) licensing the carrier to do business in the state -- a tax impact on premiums charged, and consumer protections over operations if they sell to a resident of the state, and (2) legislation that sets the minimum coverage and regulations for oversight.

So, not as simple as buying coverage from a carrier in the next state. What eliminating the state barriers looks like, then, is a common set of law regarding benefits and consumer protection.

Wait!!! What!!! We have that already: Medicare Supplement plans all have common benefits and oversight -- also no oversight by the states and no premium taxes to collect (uh oh )

-- Rita
__________________
Only got A dimple, would have preferred 2!
Gotadimple is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2009, 09:32 PM   #16
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 4,929
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
It wouldn't solve everything , but it would be a start. And if it worked well, it would build some confidence and maybe the govt could bring in some "phase II" project? At least we'd save money in the meantime.
Call me cynical ("OK, you're cynical"), but I am not so sure that having BCBS Oregon competing with BCBS California, or United HealthCare of Arizona competing with United HealthCare of New Mexico will accomplish that much. I can't see these companies engaging in cutthroat competition. Their national holding companies wouldn't permit it.

I'm pretty sure the insurers would love to have that change in place, though. Something about Federal interstate regulation trumping state regulatory boards comes to mind.

Beware of unintended side effects. Dizziness or nausea may occur.
__________________
M Paquette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2009, 10:18 PM   #17
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,282
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gotadimple View Post
As I said in another thread when discussing the public option to encourage competition: why not just change the law at the federal level and require the state insurance commissioners to administer the 'competitive law?'

-- Rita
What do you mean by the "competitive law"? Laws to make things competitive seldom work, but the govt can set up a competitive "environment", then let competition do its thing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tesaje View Post
I'm sorry but that Blitzer-Axelrod dialog was so incoherent it is hard to glean any real conclusion out of it.
That is the nature of spoken dialog/interview, but this seemed clear to me:
Quote:
AXELROD: That is not endemic to the kind of reforms that we’re proposing
In response to creating more competition in the private sector. It just isn't in their game plan. But why not?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
True, but you can allow the purchase of insurance across state lines as an alternative way to get more competition. Seems to me that's well within the interstate commerce powers of Congress. I don't think that's a cure-all for the competition issue, but it's a down payment...
Exactly. And if it doesn't work, it doesn't work. But how can it hurt? And if the public option is truly "pay as you go", the ins cos either compete or close up shop. If they can't compete, then good riddance (though I think we need *something* to keep the public option 'competitive'). And if the public option isn't "pay as you go", then any sense of "competition" is meaningless - no business can "compete" with one that can rob future generations and not even account for it on its books.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2009, 10:19 PM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Gotadimple's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,761
The BlueCross Blue Shield Association licenses plans and guarantees a territory. So in a state where there are two Blues, there are distinct geographical areas where they may market their plans.

HOWEVER, those blue plans that have common ownership do compete with each other where practical in landing large multi-state accounts (megacorps). Examples of Blue plans with common ownership are Wellpoint (based in Indiana but owning several other plans in 12 states), Regence (based in Oregon, with plans in Washington, Idaho, and Utah), Health Care Services Corp (based in Illinois, with plans in New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas).

The result is really negligible, as they are competing to cover megacorps and pricing on these policies is not the same as for a small business or individual.

I'm sure that United Health Care and Aetna also compete with themselves for megacorp accounts and those premiums are customized for the account and consider what the competition is likely to offer.

It wouldn't surprise me, though, to find that the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is working on an inter-plan method to make coverage seamless regardless of state lines -- they have that now when it comes to claims. They are a big player in DC in designing benefits that can be sold and administered by any of their licensee plans (again for megacorps, but I imagine they are already studying the 50 state insurance laws for ways to comply).

-- Rita
__________________
Only got A dimple, would have preferred 2!
Gotadimple is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2009, 10:28 PM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Gotadimple's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,761
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
What do you mean by the "competitive law"? Laws to make things competitive seldom work, but the govt can set up a competitive "environment", then let competition do its thing.
My point is an underfunded federal option will not create competition, it will create a marginalized population receiving sub-standard service. I object to the public option on the grounds that it will not achieve competition. The reason for the public option is that in many states there is only one large insurer. At least that's the reason the need for a public option has been presented.

There are probably good business reasons why other insurance carriers (large, small, or mid-size) have chosen not to enter the marketplace in a particular state. To encourage competition the various state legislators and the insurance departments can make changes to encourage entry by other players. It just hasn't been worth it to a particular state to encourage the competition.

-- Rita
__________________
Only got A dimple, would have preferred 2!
Gotadimple is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2009, 10:30 PM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,282
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gotadimple View Post
The BlueCross Blue Shield Association licenses plans and guarantees a territory. So in a state where there are two Blues, there are distinct geographical areas where they may market their plans.

HOWEVER, those blue plans that have common ownership do compete with each other ...
Two entities "competing" with each other in a territory is not a "free market", it is a duopoly. Cable/Satellite, Dems/Repubs, Visa/Mastercard....

Duopoly - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

-ERD50
__________________

__________________
ERD50 is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Rethinking High Deductible Policies tangomonster Health and Early Retirement 18 09-03-2008 10:42 AM
High Deductible Health plan Allegany Health and Early Retirement 22 06-12-2008 09:01 AM
health insurance and effect on increased health care costs Martha Other topics 9 08-08-2006 02:54 PM
wisconsin's high risk health ins. pool maddythebeagle FIRE and Money 2 03-07-2006 10:08 AM
Insurance...Take Highest Deductible? Tommy_Dolitte Young Dreamers 17 08-17-2004 07:33 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:19 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.