It was a gorgeous and warm fall day at the Rocky Gap Resort in Flintston, MD where Pulse on the Road (POTR) stopped to give the Hemophilia Foundation of Maryland its insurance seminar. About 28 families with bleeding disorders drove a long way to assemble for the weekend of fun. I had no idea Maryland, a little bit of land on the map, was so expansive and green. Zoraida and I passed farms and rolling hills under blue skies.
Emma Miller, executive director, and her capable team had everything and everyone organized and the weekend unfolded without a hitch!
POTR is focused on empowering patients with bleeding disorders to handle insurance issues and learn about the Affordable Care Act. Basically, we’re trying to wake everyone up to some major changes that could be taking place. So much can change, given that we face elections next month, and many states are suing to repeal the ACA.
With speakers Michelle Rice of NHF, Kelly Fitzgerald of PSI, Tom Larmondra of Baxter Healthcare Corporation, which sponsors POTR, and Kim Winship, LSW at Johns Hopkins University, we were well covered with experts!
My short talk was on preparing to choose a healthcare plan, which is important to know as we will soon have “state exchanges,” websites where people can go to select the healthcare plan that us best for them. They will need this tool as the federal government will mandate that everyone have health insurance.
Quickly and simply, I pointed out that it’s good to ask these questions in particular:
•Is my factor covered?
•Is it covered under the major medical or pharmacy benefit?
•Do I have a choice of more than one pharmacy provider?
•Is my HTC in network?
•Do I need a referral to see a specialist?
•What services require prior authorization?
•Is durable medical equipment covered?
Michelle as always captures everyone’s attention with the NHF Insurance Toolkit. Audience members were asked to crunch numbers and calculate “John Doe’s” choice of an HMO or PPO plan, based on his history of medical usage last year. Very clever and audiences love this! I saw everyone crunching away and asking very good questions.
When asked if everyone learned something new today, every hand went up. A great sign that we made our mark, and hopefully, more people will come away enlightened about how to protect their health care plan, and keep more dollars in their wallets!
Thanks to Emma and her team, and to Baxter Healthcare Corporation for sponsoring Pulse on the Road