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Medical Discount Plan

Spotting a Discount Medical Plan From A Health Insurance Plan

Sometimes, it is not that easy to differentiate between a health insurance plan and a discount medical plan. It’s all about the sales pitches on the advertising campaign. These sales pitches can certainly get you on the road to confusion: “affordable health care plan”, “Pre-existing conditions? No problem! ”, “No Deductible or Co-pays”, “Thousands of providers in our PPO network” and “Discounts up to 60%”.

If you ever see those sales pitches flashed on television, magazines, or Internet advertisements, you should know that what they’re probably pitching are discount card plans.

Discount medical plans are not half as bad as health insurance plans. In fact, they can even be better for people who want to dramatically reduce their healthcare costs. However, keep your expectations in check where discount medical plans are concerned.

No premiums, but …

Yes, there are no premiums to be paid with discount medical plans. However, you are required to pay a certain fee. In exchange you will be given a list of healthcare providers who are willing to give discounts to member of the plan.

Some fall short on the expectations…

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports that some discount medical plans claim to offer big discounts on a wide range of services like doctor’s visits, dental exams, hospital stays, and prescription. However, many of those who make such a grand promise actually fall short on their claims. The FTC and many state governments have actually found that although there are discount medical plans that do provide discounts to their members, there are medical discount plan providers simply take their members’ money and offering little in exchange.

If you are weighing in your options for your healthcare, consider the cost of what you’re getting. If you want a health insurance plan, check with your state insurance commissioner if the insurance company is authorized to sell insurance in your state. On the other hand, if you want a discount medical plan, check out the details of the discount plan provider before shelling out the money. You should have the company’s telephone number or website address to know more about the company.

Before paying any company for a discount medical plan, ask for a list of neutral participating providers. If the list is not provided to you promptly, you should seriously consider taking your business somewhere else. Here is a list of other good pieces of advice BEFORE your consider purchasing a discount medical plan:

Read the fine print of the discount policy. Pay special attention to the refund policy. Take note too, that if a company is not responsive to your questions while you're planning to buy, they’re highly unlikely to respond to your queries once you’ve given your money.

Do that math on how much money you’re going to spend on medical bills. A discount medical plan does only that: to give you discount on medical services. You have to pay the rest of your medical bill. The cost of the discount medical plan may cost more than the actual savings you get from the program.

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