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  • Hundreds of Newborns to have Genomes Sequenced July 21, 2014
    Genome sequencing would not replace the newborn screening tests most states require. They are researching if sequencing is better than regular screening at detecting genetic disorders, immune function, as well as metabolic disorders. Researchers believe that cataloguing a newborn’s genome …
  • VA Seeks Help from Corporate Healthcare Giant HCA July 18, 2014
    The Department of Veteran’s Affairs has recruited the Chief Medical Officer of hospital giant HCA, Dr. Jonathan Perlin, to help them find solutions for all the problems of their mismanaged system. Dr. Perlin is known for being a leader in …
  • The Trap Known as Health Insurance July 16, 2014
    The cost of health care is on the rise and is continuing to grow exponentially. One of the biggest factors to this cost is health insurance. Third parties don’t care about quality or affordability. They are spending your money for …
  • Current Health System Provides No Privacy for Patients July 14, 2014
    Dr. Deborah Peel has advocated for patient privacy for over 20 years.  She explains to the tech community how breaches in computer systems using electronic health records destroy privacy.  When patients are in control of their own money and move …
  • Is There a Link Between Saturated Fat & Heart Disease? July 11, 2014
    For the last several decades, we have been taught that saturated fats in butter, cheese, and meat are dangerous for your health. The truth is that this has never been proven. Countries that have high fat diets do not have …
  • Wellness Health Check – July Special July 7, 2014
    Men and Women’s Health Check Blood Tests for $99! (Retail is $800) This is a good way to be proactive and keep up with your health and that of your loved ones. Women’s Test includes: The Comprehensive Wellness Panel(CWP) is …
  • Physicians’ Declaration of Independence July 4, 2014
    by Richard Amerling, MD A physician’s responsibility is to the patient. To protect the patient-physician relationship, payment should be decided between these two parties, assuring all information is kept confidential. Involving third parties is destructive to the patient-physician relationship. Physicians …
  • Ralph Weber: Healthcare with Transparency in Quality & Pricing July 2, 2014
    MediBid helps patients find the best treatment solution for them at the best quality and price. Physicians set their own prices and this transparency allows for competition. MediBid started as a means for Canadians on waiting lists to get timely …
  • Steps to Increase Price Transparency June 30, 2014
    Summary by The Market Institute The Center for American Progress recently published a brief detailing their opinion on how hidden health care costs are hindering market competition and ultimately making healthcare expensive for consumers. Unlike almost every other scenario in …
  • How Obamacare Affects the Affordability of Your Medical Care June 27, 2014
    Those who do not get health insurance from their employers or Medicaid/Medicare find their premiums increasing, some states more than others. While some people will be eligible for Obamacare tax credits, many will still have to pay these premium increases …
  • Canada needs a prosperous Ontario June 27, 2014
    Ontario’s poor economic performance is dragging down Canada’s economy.A Fraser Institute study, Can Canada Prosper without a Prosperous Ontario?, examines Ontario’s shift from the economic engine of Canada to a “have not” province that received $3.2 billion in equalization payments …
  • Why Coconut Milk Might Not Be Your Friend June 25, 2014
    Those following a Paleo diet get most of their fat from coconut milk. Coconut milk is great for making smoothies. Canned coconut milk may contain BPA, a chemical which can leach out of the metal and into acidic foods, such …
  • Increasing Cost of Medical Care Can Make You Sick June 23, 2014
    At the onset of an illness or serious injury, Americans are finding the costs too much to bear – even when they have insurance. Medical expenses are the biggest financial burden in American households today. Nearly 50% of Americans cannot …
  • Natural Alternatives for Sun Protection and Sunburn Treatment June 20, 2014
    With summer activities in full swing, many of them outdoors, it is important to remember to protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun. Some exposure is beneficial, and can cause your skin to produce Vitamin D. Vitamin …
  • Your HSA Can Double as an IRA June 18, 2014
    Some Americans are supplementing thier retirement funds with a Health Savings Account. People with a high-deductible insurance plan can have an HSA to cover future medical expenses. There is a penalty to withdraw this money for nonmedical reasons, yet after …
  • OMTEC 2014 – The Past, Present and Future of the Implant Market: A Surgeon Inventor Perspective June 17, 2014
    What does the future hold for the orthopaedic implant market? Dr. Robert S. Bray, Jr., a globally recognized spine surgeon, entrepreneur and inventor, provides a look at the industry past and present and answers the question: How will the development …
  • Real Illness or Not? June 16, 2014
    by Sue Redmond Should Doctors prescribe for a “non-disease”? Infants spit up.  Many on a daily basis (some studies show as high as 40-70%).  Just one of the reasons may be that they drink a large volume of liquids and …
  • How Obamacare Impacts Small Businesses June 13, 2014
    Cost increases due to Obamacare will be sharp and immediate for small businesses. As they renew their group health plans, they are discovering an onslaught of new regulations which will also affect their future hiring and business growth. Over 60% …
  • B12 deficiency: a silent epidemic with serious consequences June 11, 2014
    Symptoms of B12 deficiency include: Alzheimer’s, dementia, other memory loss MS and neurological disorders mental illness (depression, anxiety, bipolar) heart disease learning disorders in children autism spectrum autoimmune disease cancer infertility   B12 deficiency is quite common, more so than …
  • Poorer Health of Surgery Patients on Medicaid May Alter Law’s Bottom Line June 9, 2014
    When Medicaid patients arrive at the hospital, they are in worse shape than privately insured patients because of complications stemming from years of poor health habits, smoking, avoiding or delaying medical treatment, and diseases left undetected. These patients are sicker, …

Medicare Alternatives

by Tess St. Clair

People ask me all of the time about alternatives to Medicare. With the $700 billion dollars in Medicare cuts looming on the horizon as a result of PPACA, seniors are legitimately concerned.   Do yourself a favor, BEFORE you become Medicare eligible and fall victim to the system, and read the Medicare doctrine!

Once you are eligible for Medicare, your premium for Part A (Hospital coverage) is taken right out of your Social Security Benefit. Part B (Doctors’ Office Coverage), however, is voluntary. On the surface, one would think that Plan B covers less risk, but in a case of Chemotherapy, the risk covered by Plan B is substantial.

There are GAP policies available to cover excess charges to a set limit, which can help as well.  However, more and more, these policies are getting so expensive, makes you wonder why you should feel compelled to buy one, if Medicare is so great.  I mean, in a traditional PPO with 80/20 co-insurance, do we buy GAP policies to pay for the additional 20%?

Insurance brokers are required to take the course on Medicare, and believe me, I’m glad I did.  What I learned is that Medicare does not resemble the same Medicare from 1980’s.  It looks more like Canada Health, under which it is illegal for patients to pay a doctor!  Doctors’ hands are tied under Medicare, and they are not allowed to discuss medical options that are not covered by Medicare.  So, if you find a lump in your breast, get ready for a mastectomy because lumpectomy may not be covered!  Furthermore, with reimbursement levels so low, many doctors have stopped taking new Medicare patients and are slowly getting out of their contracts.  I can’t say I blame them.  It’s not just about how little they’re being paid, it’s that they can’t do their jobs and focus on true healing.  It is about being a government servant, not even a public servant, but a government servant!  They cannot be real doctors; they can only do what the government tells them they can, and face the consequences if they dare do otherwise!

By FAR, the best alternative to Medicare is to have private coverage, but not all private plans are “first payers” before Medicare. Generally your employer health plan must have 20 or more employees on it, and your employer must have chosen to have the plan as first payer before Medicare.

If you belong to a professional association that offers members the luxury of an Association Health Plan (AHP), they can design the plan so that it is the first payer, and Medicare is second.  I say “luxury” because AHPs allow bundling of many small employers with large employers of the same profession, and so you all get the benefit of large group rates and a great deal of financial freedom because these plans are not administered by third-party payers like Blue Cross, Aetna, and UHC.  Rather, the claims are managed by Third Party Administrators (TPAs). These plans almost always have substantially lower administrative costs.  By substantially, I mean 7% compared to 20% for small group plans.  Additionally, they are not governed by the State Department of Insurance; they are governed by ERISA, a Federal law, because these plans may cross state lines.  WOW!  Talk about buying insurance across state lines!

If you belong to a professional trade association, and they don’t offer you the luxury of a multi-employer, refund-of-premium plan as one of the member benefits, it could be because of the state that the association is located in or because the association is not a Federal 501 non-profit organization (state not for profit doesn’t count) that has been in existence for more than 3 years.  Other than that, there’s hardly any reason for your association not to have an AHP, or at least to look into it.

These plans are true insurance, not these pre-paid health plans that most people are familiar with.  The formula looks like this:

Pure cost of insurance + administration + commission = premium

At the end of the year, whatever is left in the Pure Cost of Insurance fund is reimbursed or rolled into the next year to pay premiums.

Tess St. Clair is the VP of Benefits Administration at Route Three Life Health Disability, Inc.



At MediBid, we restore market forces to medical care. Doctors get to set their own rates based on their training, experience, and outcomes, and patients get to shop for medical care across state lines and international borders. Many times with MediBid, you will find procedures that are more effective than procedures allowed, or covered by health plans. Transparency and competition are the only way to achieve reasonable costs. Many of our employer clients offering group health insurance through MediBid save $5,000 per employee per year. Those are substantial savings. Patients are saving an average of 48% vs. insurance discounted rates, or 80% vs. retail. Contact us for more information.
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