Have We Reached a New Era for Women’s Health Care?

Hospitals, doctors and clinics are helping women save money on their health care costs in a variety of ways. When it comes to health, women have historically paid a high price for receiving quality of care and the kinds of choices that allow women to have some control over their health care needs.

Now, however, more hospitals and doctors have become sensitive to the special needs of women, and have responded with more and better choices, alternative treatments and specialized programs that help women save money on health care over the short and long term. Here are some things every woman should know about health care costs.

1. You have provider options.

Limited choice insurance plans are renowned for having fewer approved providers in exchange for reduced premium fees. Many women have felt squeezed out of their favorite health care provider’s list, and forced to switch providers. But even if you have a limited choice plan, you have options.

Walk-in clinics are popping up everywhere across the country to service people who either have no insurance or who do not wish to visit one of the limited choice providers. Walk-in clinics accept most insurance payments, or out of pocket payments. They offer a broad range of services that sometimes includes ultrasounds, pap smears, EKGs and much more. So the next time you put off your doctor’s appointment because you don’t like your limited choice provider, go to a walk-in clinic instead.

2. You can get some services at home.

A growing number of physicians offer house calls. If you’re getting a service done that falls under the purview of a doctor who makes house calls, you can save a bundle by not having to check in to a hospital overnight. Common services treated by house call physicians include diagnostic services, blood tests and even ongoing in-home health care.

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The Real Cost of Healthcare

If you are CEO running a big U.S.-based business, one project sitting on your desk right now is probably labeled, “manage health insurance in 2015.”

Well, 2015 is right around the corner, so it’s time to make some fast—but smart—decisions about how your company can successfully adjust to the health insurance changes in store for the coming year.

Two Things You Need to Know

In order to masterfully handle the insurance dilemma with decisive action and measured, positive results, there are two things you need to know.

This information will help you to not only navigate the insurance plan minefield, but may even help you to chart a course for better health care for your employees for years to come.

1. As the following article shows, the cost of health care premiums varies wildly by where you live. For example, whether or not you think it’s fair, people pay less for health care in Utah than residents of Washington, D.C. Insurance companies will tell you that they come up with premium costs based on complicated algorithms that calculate complicated factors like population density, pollution indexes and crime rate. But for the average employee, the increased premium isn’t offset by an increased salary to help pay for the premium.

The bottom line is, relocation of your company could be a viable way to provide lower health care costs to your employees. If region isn’t a condition of your company’s success, and enough employees would be willing to make the move with you so that you wouldn’t have to start all over again with new people, relocation isn’t an option you should quickly dismiss.

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Make the Insurance Selling Process a Premium Point

Considering the fact that insurance agents and brokers offer products that every consumer needs, you would think that they wouldn’t have too hard of a time selling insurance. After all, shouldn’t everyone jump at the chance to get extra protection for all the things that matter in their lives? Unfortunately, it’s not that easy or straightforward. Insurance companies need to market their products heavily in order to get their messages across with promises of competitive rates, responsive agents and comprehensive coverage.

What are some ways that might make the selling process easier and produce better results? This article takes a look at two insurance selling tips that every insurance salesperson might appreciate.

Sell the results, not the product.

If you look at the way other companies sell their products, you’ll notice a vast difference between their method and the method of most insurance agents. Most companies sell their results, not the product itself. Take a wrinkle cream commercial, for example. The commercial focuses on the resulting smooth, wrinkle-free skin if the woman uses the cream. Hardly ever do they mention the cream itself. You can see the same things with many products. Men’s shaving cream focuses on smooth skin, bedding commercials focus on the satisfying night of sleep that can be had with luxury sheets, and car commercials focus on how others will perceive you when you’re driving a new auto.

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Can U.S. Manufacturers Compete with Healthcare Costs and Remain Globally Competitive?

As manufacturers in the U.S. strive to meet the challenge to abide by government regulations for healthcare, two things are clear. First, this challenge presents a clear disadvantage for our manufacturers, compared to overseas manufacturing companies that aren’t subject to the U.S.’s employee healthcare mandates. Second, healthcare costs are rising across the board in administrative, direct and indirect ways. Can manufacturers somehow find ways to overcome these challanges?

Challenges Some Manufacturers Face

The employee healthcare mandates pose a specific challenge to manufacturers in the U.S., some of whom employ more than 300,000 employees. Manufacturers like General Electric, Ford and Hewlett-Packard bear the brunt of rising healthcare costs while their counterparts in other countries escape the added strain on operating expenses. If the auto industry and others are to survive, however, rising healthcare costs must be contained.

The Impact of Healthcare Expenses

There are several ways in which healthcare costs affect manufacturers. One is the added load to administrative employees. Increased oversight and constantly trying to find new ways to keep employees happy with their healthcare benefits have human resource personnel working overtime, sometimes literally.

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