Points of Care’s Online Newsletter

Points of Care’s Online Newsletter


Cold Season

It’s that time of year again! You’ve probably already heard the sneezing and coughing that comes with every cold and allergy season!  Yucky viruses are already in circulation and could be kicking “flu Season” off early this year!  Once the germs start floating around many people will be heading to the doctor with kids in tow and spouses not far behind them.

With the temperatures cooling down outside people will be spending more time indoors and more time spreading germs. We know it only takes one child at preschool or one coworker to be sick and it seems the colds spread like wildfires.  Did you know: kids who are preschool age have around nine colds a year, while kindergartners can have 12 a year? Adolescents and adults will be sick on average two to four times a year, according to WebMD.  Various forms of the influenza virus can stick around till May, giving germs plenty of time to filter throughout a child’s school, the home and the office more than one time.

Now is the perfect time to be talking up the discount program with clients! Not only are people going to the doctor more but they are also in the save money for the holidays mode! All of these factors make this month a perfect opportunity to talk to your clients about the discount card.

A couple key things to notify current or prospective clients of to help them choose using the card:

  • The end of the year means rolling over of health benefits. If a client has yet to meet their deductible then it may be better to save money on a medication than pay full price.
  • If a client doesn’t have health insurance, now’s the time to hand them a card. Hopefully they will escape cold and flu season happy and healthy, but if not, they’ll be needing a discount on antibiotics and they’ll be on the lookout for the best deals around the holidays.

 


 

Hearing Savings

Many are familiar with the Points of Care card and all it does to save money on prescriptions, but what about the other savings the card offers? Did you know the hearing program alone provides up to 60% in savings. The benefits offered by Points of Care don’t stop at the pharmacy counter and your conversations don’t have to end with prescription medications.

1 out of 6 Americans between the ages of 45-65 have hearing loss as well as 8 million school children, while only 1% is being treated. Most insurance plans do not provide coverage for hearing aids and devices. With the average hearing aid ranging from $1,500 to $3,500 many can’t afford to stay connected to the world. Points of Care cards offer the ClearValue Hearing savings program as one of its many benefits.

Here are just a few things card users can save on with the ClearValue program:

  • Free Hearing Assessment by a local Professional ClearValue Provider
  • 100 % Guaranteed Custom Fit with 60 Day Trial
  • 2 Year Starkey Manufacturer Warranty
  • 2 Year Accidental Loss & Damage Insurance
  • 1 Year Supply of Batteries

If you are talking with someone who may not need a card for prescription medications let them know of the many other benefits the card offers, including the many benefits of the Hearing Savings Program.

During and after the holidays is a great time to be discussing the savings offered by the hearing program. Many do not realize the decline of hearing until it’s pointed out by a loved one. Prepare your clients with savings information to help them alleviate the financial stress while talking to their family members.

Click Here for great information to pass along to a client about hearing loss.


 

Changes in 2016

2016 is right around the corner and changes coming about for the Affordable Care Act are almost hear. Big Changes! Have you done your research to see how the changes are going to affect your business? How about how they will affect the way you position the Discount Program?

We anticipate changes to the ACA every year but we don’t always change our approach of how we incorporate the Discount Card into our updated sales pitch. In order to make the Discount Program remain a key component in people’s medicine cabinets we must continue to show them how the cards will work for them. How they can continue to rely on the discount program to save them money!

Below are a few changes to anticipate for 2016 and how it will affect the way the discount card is marketed:

Defining “Small Employers”

Business with 51-100 employees will now be considered a small group employer for insuring purposes, but will be considered a large group employer for the 2016 Employer Mandate penalty calculations. Requiring the business to provide the minimum essential health benefits to 95% of its full-time employees and their dependents.

How will this affect the card? By shrinking the number of those uninsured it will limit prescription takers from using the card due to having health insurance.

How will this help the card? Though employers offer the essential benefits which must include prescription medications, not all medications will be covered. Many people currently take prescriptions that will not be covered under a drug plan formulary. Leaving some still looking for savings on medications!

Shrinking our Pockets

Each year the in-network, out-of-pocket maximum, which includes: deductibles, copays and coinsurance, seems to increase. 2016 will be no different. Our premiums continue to rise and the amount we pay before insurance “kicks-in”continues to rise as well, shrinking our pockets even more.

  • In 2014 the max was $6,350 – individual, $12,700 – family.
  • In 2015 the out-of-pocket max rose to $6,600 – individual, $13,200 – family.
  • In 2016 the max will jump an additional $250 to be $6,850 – individual and $13,700 – family.

How will this affect the card? More people will be insured in 2016 but that doesn’t mean they will meet the new requirements.

How will this help the card? Those who never plan to meet the minimum pay out may choose to opt into the savings provided by the discount program instead. For example, if a plan holder goes to the doctor only when they are sick. They may choose to save money on that antibiotic rather than pay full price to apply it towards an unreachable deductible.

Increasing the Non-Compliance Penalty

Many individuals who choose not to have health insurance may be changing their tune once they realize the penalty for avoiding a plan is rising by 2.5% this year. Originally in 2014 the 1% penalty came in at $95.00. A 2% increase was applied for 2015 making the penalty $325.00 and will rise again to $695.00 for 2016. That price is just for individuals – families could be paying up to $2,085 a year just to opt out of a healthcare plan.

How will this affect the card? Some will sign up for the cheapest plan just to avoid the fees while others insist on remaining out of the healthcare system on principle.

How will this help the card? Even though some will adopt a new plan, they will likely never use it and will continue to find the cheapest route possible. These typically tend to be the younger, healthier generation who’ll never require $6,850 in healthcare costs. Making them perfect candidates for choosing the savings provided by the discount program over contributing toward a deductible they will more than likely never meet.

There are other changes coming about for 2016, be sure you are keeping your discount program relevant to your client’s needs as they overcome these new obstacles in place.

Read more about these changes here: “Get Ready, Because Big Changes are Coming to Obamacare in 2016”  &  “6 ACA Changes for 2016”