Almost half of all Virginians think their HMOs are less than stellar. Luckily, there’s an easier way to stay healthy than paying premiums to underperforming HMOs.
Despite everything the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has done to make access to health insurance easier for the entire U.S. population, it hasn’t necessarily made it more affordable. Beginning this year, there is a $325 penalty facing adults who do not enroll in the program, and around $160 for each child who hasn’t been enrolled.
Meanwhile, Virginia Health Information has released the results of a survey outlining the current status and perception of healthcare on a more local level. There is certainly a wealth of positive news, as access to healthcare for Virginians of all ages is outperforming the national average. Yet, many issues persist for those currently unhappy with their coverage.
The Cost of Care
The truth is that healthcare remains expensive — plain and simple. The survey, reported by PR Newswire, revealed that the average Virginian’s monthly premium exceeds $400. The difference now is that, while many citizens avoided these high costs by skipping health insurance altogether in the past, the new requirements of the Affordable Care Act will force them to find some form of coverage else subject themselves to monetary penalties. In Virginia, the response to this change has been largely varied.
First, the good news: according to the survey, over 1.2 million Virginians chose to go with health maintenance organization plans (HMOs) in 2014. Moreover, the percentage of those enrolled in high-ranking HMOs is at an all-time high and above the national average.
Raising the Alarms
Now the bad: nearly 42% of Virginians covered by HMOs do not highly rate their provider, a figure that’s nearly 10% above the national average. To add insult to injury, this rate of dissatisfaction marks a five-year high for Virginia’s HMOs. While most patients contacted in the statewide survey reported timely care and generally positive interactions with helpful doctors, the levels of satisfaction with a number of specific providers were considerably lower.
One disadvantage facing HMOs stems from the way these systems are actually set up. The programs stick patients with a particular primary care physician from the start, making it difficult to receive specialized treatment, since any visit to a specialist requires a referral.
Consumers can’t be blamed for wanting increased flexibility and better services — especially considering the penalties they face for skipping insurance altogether. This rings especially true for patients who may be short on funds but still rightly deserve quality care.
Luckily for those seeking health insurance, there is a great alternative. SingleCare provides services specifically designed for those who want to receive high quality healthcare but need more flexible terms. Instead of paying a surging premium, SingleCare members can pay for healthcare only when they need it..
SingleCare’s commitment to providing its members with the best possible care means that members can see rates discounted up to 50%. Patients can schedule their appointments as needed, and pay for the coverage they actually need. As an added benefit, SingleCare is also beneficial to those who are already insured, covering any gaps that may arise in their insurance without charging a monthly premium.
Whether you have insurance or not, joining SingleCare will give you access to a large network of top doctors and specialists — without the hassle of a marketplace or a monthly hit to your wallet.
(Main image credit: psphotograph/Thinkstock)