The Ups and Downs of Health Insurance

Within the borders of New York, there is a simple yet very distinct causation of guaranteed issue. What is a guarantee issue to the mass public? This is a law forbidding health insurance companies from deliberately rejecting coverage to those individuals who apply for the health insurance coverage. Now this pertains to the residents living and working within the border of New York. Just to set the record straight, the insurance industry does not deny an applicant the privilege of obtaining a comprehensive insurance policy. The individual applying for insurance coverage will have, depending on the plan, coverage for everything except the noted pre-condition. Individuals with pre-conditions have a rider attached to a waiting period of up to eighteen months.

However in most cases, when the individual can show they had conitnuous health insurance with another insurance company there usually is no waiting period with the new insurance policy. In this case with the guarantee issue most individuals will decide to remain without any insurance coverage. When the individual becomes ill, they will then search around for an individual health insurance.

Couple this with the community rating which requires health insurance companies to charge the same premium to everyone who participates and at the same monetary rate regardless of what came before a real disaster is on your hands. The one-size-fits-all approach is not the best idea and is causing more difficulties compounding the situation. An unfortunate example of this combination is evident in the annual affordable health insurance rates over a period of a few years that bring this difficulty into focus.

  1. Single male at the age of 30 paid annually $1200.00 in March, 1993
  2. Single male at the age of 30 paid annually $3240.00 in April, 1993
  3. Single male at the age of 30 paid annually $4152.00 in July, 2003
  4. Single female at the age of 30 paid annually $1800.00 in March, 1993
  5. Single female at age 30 paid annually $3240.00 in April, 1993
  6. Single female at age 30 paid annually $4152.00 in July, 2003

This unfortunately is what the community rating caused in a very short period of time causing much grief for many families living and working within the borders of New York. Therefore the unintended results of the rising costs of health care caused a rush of individuals and businesses to cancel their insurance policies. Now, the state of New York is going through great pains to adjust the guarantee issue and the community rating to fall back in line with what the legislature originally intended and not what this has become.

US Health Care Workers Benefit As Medical Scrubs Receive A High-Tech Makeover

There is no question that technology drives the health care industry. Advancements in equipment, drugs and research have paved the way for the elimination of many diseases and the quick and successful treatment of a variety of illnesses and injuries. In turn, we’re living longer than ever before and it’s safe to say we’ve come a long way since blood-letting.

And yet with all these advancement’s, there is one glaringly low-tech component to the health care industry. One that impacts between 3 and 4 million health care workers, predominantly nurses, and is so synonymous with the medical profession that even a TV series was named after them.

Medical scrubs, so named due to the scrubbing of hands prior to surgery, have been seen throughout hospitals, dental offices and veterinarian clinics for more than 60 years. Prior to the 1940′s most surgeons wore something akin to a butcher’s apron to protect their street clothes while nurses wore head to toe garments which were called “fever uniforms.”

But as the industry became more aware of the need for clean, bacteria-free work environments, white “smocks” were introduced to emphasize cleanliness. However, with the bright lights and white walls of most hospitals eye strain became an issue and in the 1950′s and 60′s medical workers turned towards various shades of green to combat eye fatigue and make blood less conspicuous. By the 1970s, scrubs arrived at the design that is still common today: a short-sleeve V-necked shirt and drawstring pants. While most were made of cotton, polyester blends were also introduced.

Yet over the past few decades the only real changes to scrubs have come in the way of color and print options and some minor design variations. But with a recent trustees report by the American Medical Association recommending research in to textile transmission of health-care associated infections, it seems clear that medical scrubs will need to move from their low-tech past in to a high-tech future.

The past year or so has seen a few forward-thinking manufacturers releasing scrubs infused with antimicrobial technology. While the properties have yet to be developed to the point where all bacteria is killed on contact these early efforts are showing promise. At the very least, those choosing to wear these innovative scrubs are being provided with a host of benefits such as sweat, odor and stain resistance as well as temperature control. Until recently however, these properties would wash out of the garment in short order. But a Tennessee company has recently launched a scrubs line that has solved that problem with a product that is breaking new ground in the $750 million medical apparel industry.

Performance Healthcare Products came to the scrubs industry via a line of sleepwear they developed specifically for women battling night sweats. CEO Kirby Best, who was first introduced to sweat-wicking materials as the former driver for the Canada 1 national bobsled team, began exploring how “smart materials” could be incorporated in to the health care industry.

“When I first began looking in to the health care industry I was a little shocked to learn of the lack of innovation in the scrubs market,” said Best from his Nashville headquarters. “It just didn’t make much sense. And when we started surveying nurses about was important to them in their uniforms it seemed clear that there was some distance between what they wanted and what they had access to.”

Working with one of the largest chemical and textile manufacturers in the world, the Spartanburg, South Carolina headquartered Milliken and Company, Best and his team focused their efforts on a creating a fabric that utilizes the naturally occurring element of silver to provide the long-lasting antimicrobial protection they were after. The application comes in the form of microscopic silver ions which are encased in engineered ceramic “cages” and then embedded into a soft yet durable, breathable fabric. Silver

“We knew the technology was strong but the big question mark was if it would hold up,” said Best who was aware that other attempts at providing antimicrobial technology resulted in the active properties washing out quickly. “My team and I spent a lot of time in front of our washing machines.”

After rigorous testing and convinced that the technology would be effective for the lifetime of the garment Best went to work on a design and turned to the logical resources to assist him. “I’m not a nurse. And for me to create a design would have been a mistake. For these scrubs to work they had to meet the demands of our audience. That was the whole point of launching a scrubs line. To give professional nurses something they both wanted and needed.”

The resulting product was dubbed Performance Scrubs and it has created a new benchmark for ‘smart materials’ in the industry. Best also delivered on his goal to meet his audience’s demands by using recent textile innovations to meld softness with extraordinary durability, two important factors for nurses who are almost always responsible for purchasing and laundering their own scrubs. Performance is also the only scrubs company in the industry that does all their manufacturing in the United States which allows nurses to customize their scrubs with color, piping and design options.

Next up for Best is developing a line of scrubs that kills many forms of airborne bacteria. With the American Medical Association reporting that infections spread within a hospital or health care setting are responsible for an estimated 1.7 million infections each year, of which approximately 100,000 of these cases resulting in death, there is an urgent need for additional protection to both the worker and the patient. And with an additional $20 billion cost to the health care industry to combat these infections each year there is certainly a financial incentive for the industry to explore new safety innovations.

“We really weren’t aware of the depth of the problem when we began developing our product,” said Best. “But hopefully, the success of our line will lead others to look for ways to keep both workers and patients safe and protected. I mean, that’s the point of health care, isn’t it?

Avail Low Cost Health Insurance

Insurance is costly and not everyone can afford it and many small business men and working class do not take insurance. People living below poverty line also scrimp and save on the money, so there are many who cannot afford costly insurance. If all goes well is fine but what if you need that money in case of a sickness or ill health as medical help is not cheap either.

However, as a solution to this problem, there is low cost health insurance that is available. Everyone wants to save money but sometimes it helps to be insured. Availing low cost health insurance is a good solution after checking out some options. Individual insurance plans are getting to be cheaper due to intense competition in health insurance companies. Group insurance are a good option as money is saved considerably but new better and low cost health insurance plans are coming up which give better options .

If you want to take a budget health insurance then HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) is a good option. They have a wide network of doctors to choose from Ranging from specialists to hospitals under the HMO plan. They are affordable with fixed price so the hassle of premiums is not there. Another advantage is that paperwork and all claims are handled by them. However, it lacks flexibility of going to another doctor or hospital as the scheme only covers for hospitals and doctors affiliated under them.

Another low cost health insurance plan is COBRA plan that is designed for all those who have forsaken their insurance to stay on this plan till they find something new. Usually people who have lost their job, divorced or widowed as they were covered under spouse insurance, are the ones who take it. With this you can continue for 18 months till you change over to a new insurance plan. You generally go in for a low cost health insurance when the budget is tight but cannot let your family medical needs suffer.

So, taking low cost health insurance plans of the government like the Medicare is also a good option. They may not offer you great deals but at least support the basic needs of covering the medical expense when you need them.