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The discount healthcare plan saves

 

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Is a discount healthcare plan for you? (2009-09-18)

I introduce myself

HEALTH
at a
DISCOUNT
TM

by HEINZ DINTER, PhD
HDinter@GrandLifestyle.com

Is the high cost of supplemental healthcare getting you down? Are you one of the 7 out of 10 Americans with no dental care savings program? Look no further. It is now possible to access affordable dental, vision, prescription, chiropractic, and other programs for your entire household.

Discount healthcare plans are becoming one of the fastest growing alternatives for protecting your health and that of your family with affordable means of paying for medical services.

Discount healthcare plans are very convenient and affordable — they save you money on healthcare expenses.

What is a discount healthcare plan?

Discount healthcare plans are smart alternatives to health insurance. The discount plan usually charges a membership fee in return for which the discount service company provides you with a membership discount card which you present to your healthcare provider at the time services are rendered. When you visit the dentist, physician, chiropractor or provider of other services covered under the plan you subscribe to, you receive a discount for the services you receive and for which you pay at a discounted rate.

Here are some points that you need to remember: Discount plans are not insurance. You pay for the services, but at the discount offered by the service provider and guaranteed by the company you are a member of.

You may ask why the service provider is offering you a discount when he charges regular fees to patients who are not members of the discount service. The provider of services to you benefits from the increased business that comes his or her way because of the relationship the service provider has established with the discount service company. The service provider offers the discount and in return the discount service company sends patients to the service provider. Therefore, more traffic means more business for the service provider.

The service provider can only offer you the discount available with your discount service company membership card if the service provider has joined the provider list of the discount service company. Here’s a good sign for judging the discount service company: The more respected the discount service company is by the service provider, the longer the list of providers is confirming the service provider’s confidence in the discount service company’s service.

What types of services are offered?

The healthcare discount service company offers one or more of the following services:

Medical Services:

• Dental Services

• Vision Services

• Prescription Drug Services

• Chiropractic Services

• Nurse Services

• Hearing Services

• Physician Care

• Ancillary Care

• Hospital Advocacy

Non-Medical Services:

• Automobile Road Services

• Legal Services

• Identity Theft Assistance

• National Child ID Services.

What to look for in a healthcare discount plan?

• How affordable is the healthcare discount plan?

• Once you sign up for a plan, you should not have to wait for the plan to take effect.

• A good medical discount plan should save you 20% to 80%.

• Your discount healthcare plan should also include additional services like dental services, physical therapy, hearing services as well as lab procedures.

• Now your medical issues are no longer a strain on you as the company providing the medical discount plan will assign an advocate who negotiates with the hospital to get you a possible adjustment on your bill based on your ability to pay.

Investigate healthcare discount plans. These plans generally offer savings on healthcare related services if you go to participating service providers. Make sure you do your homework before signing up. Find out which providers (dentists, physicians, etc.) in your area participate and talk to others who have used the plan about their experience with the discount service company and the service providers.

Let's compare discount healthcare plans
with health insurance

Dental discount plans are the most popular and widely available discount plans. Hence, let us use it to compare its features with dental insurance.

Features of dental discount plans:

• No annual limits — plan members enjoy discounts on most dental care services all year long.

• Most plans activate without a waiting period.

• No tiresome paperwork hassles — plan members simply present their membership card at a participating dentist office for discounts on most dental services.

• No health restrictions and pre-existing conditions — there is no need to wait for comprehensive dental treatment plans.

• Select plans include discounts on dental specialties, including cosmetic dentistry and orthodontics.

• Consumers pay affordable membership fees for access to a network of dentists offering discounts on most dental procedures.

• Available directly to individuals, families, businesses and groups.

• Having a dental plan should encourage you to take more preventive care of your teeth to avoid the more serious dental problems.

Features of dental insurance:

• Limitations, deductibles and annual maximums.

• Waiting periods for major dental procedures.

• Tedious and time-consuming written claims process.

• Limitations/exclusions on pre-existing conditions.

• Certain dental specialties, such as cosmetic dentistry, are rarely covered.

• Consumers pay expensive monthly premiums for defined coverage.

• Typically inaccessible because of the high cost to individuals and families unless provided by their employer via a group plan.

Even if you already have medical insurance, the discounts offered by your healthcare discount plan may be used along with your medical insurance for even more savings on your healthcare.

With the popularity of healthcare discount plans gaining strength, not only is your pocketbook taxed less, your willingness to visit the doctor, dentist, and other service provider is improved. What is the result? Better health for you and your family because — we all know it well — prevention is better than the cure.

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