The Greater Los Angeles Area YGL will maintain an environment that educates, inspires & transforms federal employees into prized promotable assets & be models for organization management that will be admired & emulated by agencies.
Navigating Healthcare Constraints
January 31, 2012 at 4:40 pm #151343
I found an article the other day that highlighted a troublesome fact, something not very new to us Americans. When struggling to achieve the American dream, we also have to include in our budget an expense for health insurance and healthcare costs, or else that dream could escape our grasp forever. Earlier this month a Canadian professional skier lost her life in an accident that lead to a nine day hospital visit that eventually resulted in her passing. At the end of it, her family was left with a 200,000 dollar hospital bill for the 9 days worth of care, something that this family would not have incurred if she were injured in her home country.
My point here is not to draw additional attention to our healthcare problems. We as Americans and as voters can make our decisions and influence legislation in all the normal avenues. What I want to discuss is: what we are doing as leaders to prevent things like this from happening? Are we informing each other, our families, our friends, our co-workers? Is there anything that we can learn from the stories we hear in the news, to improve our current state without having to save money for a rainy day or a humongous hospital bill? I would love to hear the recommended strategies or plans people have to navigate the constraints of healthcare in the United States.
I currently have no plan, but am in the process of devising one. My first step is to become intimately familiar with all of my families healthcare plans and determine what the necessary steps would be in the event of an emergency. With aging parents and relatives, I want to make sure we are all covered in the case of unexpected health issues. Plus, I would like to make sure that I am financially capable of supporting any unexpected health issue in my immediate family.
January 31, 2012 at 5:14 pm #151363
An apple a day keeps the doctor away!
I joke, but healthcare costs are a serious problem and drive many people into poverty. You can't prevent a broken leg on the soccer field, but I do believe you can prevent many other health problems. For starters, I eat mostly organic food and I've been healthier than ever. I've done a lot of research and I believe eating good/real food will prevent heart disease, diabetes, etc. that comes later in life to so many Americans. A healthy lifestyle will help prevent those health issues, so will some good old fashioned good luck.
January 31, 2012 at 5:18 pm #151361
I just recently had "the talk" with my parents regarding life support decisions and passing with dignity if I find them in that situation, more like forced it out of them... but I know now and I made sure my sister was present. That's something else to think about. It's a piece of mind.
All government employees, especially those that travel abroad, should be familiar with their healthcare coverage and those specific details. Maybe a YGL workshop with some of our healthcare sponsors is needed?
January 31, 2012 at 5:19 pm #151359
Haha, as much as your post made me smile... there is a lot of truth to that. I guess it is easy for many of us, especially myself, to externalize things and feel like we have little control over what happens to our health sometimes. I will be taking control of my health and adding this to my plan! Thanks Scott.
January 31, 2012 at 5:23 pm #151357
I think that would be mutually beneficial indeed Mike. A real issue full of real concerns for many of our young and seasoned leaders out there. I appreciate you sharing that, as that was also something I had not thought about. Workshop is a perfect choice.
January 31, 2012 at 5:27 pm #151355
Agree 100% with Scott and do my best to bring a healthy lifestyle to my family, especially the kids. So much can be prevented if you make an effort. My wife also works in childhood obesity prevention so we are exposed to a lot of good info. Check out these documentaries when you have time:
Food Inc (Academy Award Nominee)
The Last Heart Attack (CNN doc on Clinton and the pros of his lifestyle change after heart problems)
January 31, 2012 at 5:56 pm #151353
Agree - would be a good topic.
What do folks use right now for fed healthcare? How do they feel about it? Honestly, I always found it too hard to navigate so I stuck with the one I picked my first year and never changed
January 31, 2012 at 5:59 pm #151351
I agree with Mr. Govloop. It's hard to weigh the pro's and cons of each plan.
January 31, 2012 at 6:03 pm #151349
Completely agree. I may have caused some confusion with my word choice in my last paragraph... I currently have a healthcare plan, I use Government Employees Health Association (GEHA). What I don't have are any contingency plans, or overall strategies to help myself prepare for emergencies, or to cover costs that exceed my maximum coverage. I couldn't for the life of me analyze each plan, but with a team of people, I bet we could get close!
January 31, 2012 at 6:14 pm #151347
I always thought it'd be great if someone did a simple blog post that's a rough guide (not 100% accurate)
If under 30, single, healthy - pick X - probably a high deductible plan that has benefits for gym clubs, etc (couple of them are like this such as Aetna0
If thinking of getting pregnant this year - most people choose Y for best benefits
If married without kids - the best bet is Z. Because most plans charge more than 2X amount for family plan. What's the family plan for those without kids (me and my wife are in this situationt)
If married with kids - most people choose D
January 31, 2012 at 7:31 pm #151345
That would be awesome! Make it a part of the GovLoop 'New Hire Handbook.'
I too stuck with the first provider I picked when hired until we had our first kid and got stuck with some crazy hospital bills. Learned my lesson and changed. The second kid and hospital stay went much smoother. Would have been nice to know these things the first time around.
Local provider reps in LA that support our YGL chapter have offered to put on workshops for our members. Of course, they have an interest in pushing their plans. There must be a healthcare professional in the GovLoop community to step up!
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