Three health care tools that will save you money

Posted by Alex Tolbert on Mon, Jul 16, 2018 @ 09:07

How to use price-shopping tools 

Have you ever tried to price-shop for your health care? While consumers are usually familiar with doing so when it comes to buying most goods and services, health care has been different.

Typically, it has been really hard, if not impossible, to get an accurate sense of what health care visits and services will cost you ahead of time. 

Health care pricing has traditionally been very opaque, but as deductibles keep rising, consumers are paying for more and more of their own care. As a result, consumers are increasingly trying to find cost and quality information before they schedule a surgery or pick up a prescription.

Fortunately, new tools are available to make this process easier. While shopping for health care still isn’t as simple as running a quick search on Amazon, there are some websites and apps that can give you a general sense of what you might expect to pay. Let’s review three popular health care price-shopping tools — Healthcare Bluebook, MDSave and GoodRx.

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Tags: healthcare, The Tennessean, healthcare costs, surprise medical bills

Affluent Americans concerned about healthcare costs in retirement

Posted by Emily Kubis on Fri, Jul 13, 2018 @ 09:07

How financial advisors can help

According to a new study by Nationwide, 75 percent of affluent, older adults list out-of-control healthcare costs as one of their top fears in retirement, and 64 percent of future retirees say they are “terrified” of what healthcare costs may do to their retirement plans.

As healthcare prices continue to skyrocket, from premiums to procedural costs, this trend has been on the rise, and financial advisors are taking note.

More and more advisors and wealth managers are incorporating a healthcare component to their retirement advice, providing not just a cushion for unexpected healthcare expenses, but also assisting clients in finding the most cost-effective strategy for the best coverage possible.

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Tags: Bernard Health, retirement, healthcare costs, financial planner, financial advisors, healthcare extension, medicare costs

Five questions to ask before having a medical procedure

Posted by Alex Tolbert on Mon, Jul 02, 2018 @ 09:07

How to make more informed medical decisions

When planning a medical procedure, making a well-informed decision is really important. While this is not always possible during an emergency medical scenario, having as much information as possible for elective procedures can help you get the best care, as well as avoid surprise bills or inflated charges.

You may not be able to get an accurate estimate of how much a procedure will cost ahead of time, but there are several questions you can ask to minimize your exposure to financial risk.

Here are five questions to ask before having a medical procedure.

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Tags: healthcare, The Tennessean, healthcare costs, surprise medical bills

How financial advisors can advise clients on nontraditional coverage

Posted by Emily Kubis on Wed, Jun 20, 2018 @ 16:06

Three things to know

Have your clients asked for advice on health coverage? As healthcare costs continue to skyrocket and become cause for concern for Americans at every income level, more financial advisors are recognizing an opportunity to provide another level of service and advice.

When it comes to health coverage, there are numerous strategies your clients may consider. While most are probably covered under a traditional workplace plan, there are nontraditional options that might be a good fit for clients in different situations. For example, if you have clients who are self-employed or retiring before Medicare eligibility, they may need a different solution.

Even clients who have access to a traditional, comprehensive workplace plan may see less value in this type of coverage as premium costs rise into the hundreds and thousands of dollars per month.

Here are three types of nontraditional coverage your clients may consider. While advising on healthcare isn’t typically financial advisor’s area of expertise, having a working knowledge on these options will allow you to position your firm as providing comprehensive advice. Want to offer your clients personalized healthcare advice? Bernard Health provides a Healthcare Extension to financial practices across the country that allows advisors to provide insurance recommendations, enrollment assistance, medical bill auditing and more. Learn more.

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Tags: Bernard Health, retirement, short term plan, healthcare costs, direct primary care, financial planner, financial advisors, healthcare extension, medicare costs

Two reasons why TriStar Health is investing big in orthopedics

Posted by Alex Tolbert on Wed, Jun 20, 2018 @ 10:06

Hospital competition and an aging population

Earlier this month, local hospital network TriStar Health announced a big expansion plan for its midtown campus, TriStar Centennial.

Included in the project is a $123.7 million plan to add four floors and a joint replacement center to the HCA Healthcare-owned hospital, expected to open early next year.

In announcing the project, TriStar representatives said the investments will allow the hospital network to meet the needs of the growing communities its hospitals serve.

Here are two other reasons the hospital network may be investing in orthopedics specifically, and hospital projects in general.

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Tags: healthcare, tristar, The Tennessean, healthcare costs

Why healthcare planning in your retirement plan is key

Posted by Emily Kubis on Fri, Jun 15, 2018 @ 09:06

Medicare doesn’t cover everything

A new study shows half of retirees never calculated the cost of healthcare in retirement, and four in ten retirees say their expenses are higher than they expected.

The 2018 Retirement Confidence Survey illustrates why planning ahead for healthcare is so important, and why more and more financial advisors are integrating healthcare planning services into their firm’s value proposition.

Here are three Medicare misconceptions that could affect your wealth management clients.

First, many consumers do not realize that Medicare has costs associated with it, including premiums, copays, and deductibles, as well as prescription drug costs.

These costs should be considered “expected expenses,” and worked into comprehensive financial planning.

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Tags: Bernard Health, retirement, healthcare costs, financial planner, financial advisors, healthcare extension, medicare costs

Why a higher uninsured rate means more expensive premiums

Posted by Alex Tolbert on Wed, Jun 06, 2018 @ 09:06

Premiums likely to rise in 2019

A new study by the Commonwealth Fund reports that the uninsured rate has been rising since 2016, and about 4 million more Americans are uninsured today than two years ago. 

One consequence of fewer insured Americans is that premiums will likely rise for the consumers who do continue to buy health insurance, beginning as early as next year.

We don’t know yet how much prices will increase, but we will have more information about this soon. Insurers have to decide this summer if they intend to sell individual coverage in 2019 and file with the state for any rate increases.

But before that happens, let’s understand why more Americans are going without insurance, and how that leads to more expensive coverage for consumers who do purchase health plans.

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Tags: healthcare, The Tennessean, healthcare costs

Three healthcare costs your retirement plan should address

Posted by Alex Tolbert on Mon, May 21, 2018 @ 07:05

Plan ahead for healthcare costs in retirement

Planning for retirement? Don’t forget health care. According to Fidelity Benefits Consulting, a 65-year-old couple retiring in the last year will spend $275,000 on health care, not including long-term care expenses.

This can be a real surprise for some consumers. There is a misconception that once a consumer reaches Medicare eligibility, there are no more out-of-pocket health care costs, but that is not the case.

Medicare does not cover everything, so planning ahead for health care expenses is a crucial part of a comprehensive retirement strategy. Here are three health care costs that can affect retirees.

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Tags: healthcare, The Tennessean, healthcare costs

Healthcare tech: Why Nashville will beat Silicon Valley

Posted by Alex Tolbert on Fri, May 11, 2018 @ 06:05

The Silicon Valley model doesn't work in healthcare

Silicon Valley tech companies like Apple, Google and Uber are known for using technology in new ways to solve old problems, and sometimes, radically changing consumer behavior in the process. 

These three companies are reportedly pursuing health care investments, which could mean health care is the next industry to be disrupted by technology. 

Of course, these companies aren’t the first to tackle health care. Health care start-ups have been launched across the country, including in Nashville.

In fact, the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, Nashville’s business development nonprofit, launched a start-up accelerator focused on health care in 2016. Thirteen local companies were initially tapped to participate in Project Healthcare in 2017, launching solutions for everything from prescription drug abuse to health care staffing.

The advantage Nashville’s start-up community has over Silicon Valley is its depth of health care experience. Nearly 400 healthcare companies have operations in Nashville, contributing an economic benefit of $38.8 billion to the local economy, and more than $84 billion in revenues globally.

Nashville’s health care expertise gives Music City entrepreneurs a big competitive edge against comparable start-ups in Silicon Valley.

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Tags: healthcare, The Tennessean, healthcare costs

Financial planning clients are making a big healthcare mistake

Posted by Emily Kubis on Mon, May 07, 2018 @ 07:05

Retirees aren't prepared for healthcare costs

According to a new survey by the NHP Foundation, more than a third of Baby Boomers said they are most worried about affording healthcare in retirement. Sixty-five percent of those surveyed said that they have not budgeted for unforeseen health-related expenses.

This is a big mistake, as healthcare costs for a couple retiring this year are estimated at $275,000, not including long-term care expenses.

This trend presents a clear opportunity to financial advisors. By building healthcare  into clients’ retirement financial planning, advisors can provide peace of mind and a competitive differentiator.  By positioning themselves as comprehensive advisors, advisors are able to win new business and retain key clients.

How can financial advisors build out healthcare planning tools?

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Tags: Bernard Health, retirement, healthcare costs, financial planner, financial advisors, healthcare extension, medicare costs

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