We live in an era where health insurance tends to be confusing, opaque and costly. Yet as young people start to demand a more transparent future of healthcare, businesses are beginning to arise to meet this demand.
We spoke to Eric Geier of New Era Health Plans to learn more about his innovative approach to health insurance.
What inspired you to start up your business?
After spending over two decades in finance, I wanted to make a more positive impact for people on an individual basis. I’ve always had the ability to make the complex much easier to understand, and health insurance has become much more complex than it needs to be. The entire business is conducted like a big secretive backroom deal and it’s just crying out for transparency. In partnering with a firm committed to transparency, I’m realizing my purpose of protecting people, both medically and financially.
How is New Era Health Plans different to other health insurers?
The traditional health insurance model is constructed in 3 tiers: Premium, Deductible, and Co-pays, to a maximum out of pocket amount. Given the cost trajectory of traditional health insurance plans, it isn’t difficult to see that this business model isn’t sustainable. At New Era, we believe that our Defined Benefit Plans will be the model for health insurance going forward. A model where you know for certain, beforehand, what the costs of procedures will be, and that the benefit amount will cover those procedures. The reason that the traditional insurance companies are so profitable, even in an environment of skyrocketing medical costs, is the opacity of the insurance business. If they were completely transparent about their business, they wouldn’t be able to get away with exorbitant premiums and deductibles and mediocre reimbursements.
How does New Era’s Insurance Products benefit people in a way that traditional insurance products do not?
Our products pay ‘first dollar’ for Preventive Care, Health and Wellness, and for all Outpatient Illness and Accident/Injury care. This means that you don’t have to satisfy any deductibles before you see a benefit. And depending on which level plan you decide to purchase, you may not see any co-payment either. Imagine needing to go to a doctor (or ER or Urgent Care), and having freedom from the worry that comes with the uncertainty about what your insurance will pay (or not pay) for?
How do your health insurance claims work?
Claims work in a similar fashion as traditional health insurance, with one exception. Like a regular plan, you’d simply present your insurance card at time of service, and your doctor/provider would then forward to us for payment. Here’s where the difference is: if the benefit exceeds the amount due to the provider, you’d receive a benefit check for the difference. When was the last time you received a check from your health insurer?
What are the best ways to save on health insurance?
Taking a proactive approach and learning as much as you can about what insurance products cover which procedures, and what benefits are best aligned with your life situation, will save you a lot of money and worry in the future. A single 25 year old male, for example, needn’t have a plan that pays pregnancy benefits. Those benefits demand a higher premium cost for something he won’t need. Know that if you have a low income (100-400% of the federal poverty level) you’re eligible for subsidies on the ACA Marketplace. And if you can get on a group employer plan, do so – it’ll most likely be your best option.
What is the ideal type of coverage for young people?
Ideal coverage for anyone is to be on an employer-based, group plan – the coverage is typically excellent, and costs are minimal. If that’s not an option, however, there are great private, non-traditional options that favour younger and healthier individuals. Our products, for example, are medically underwritten, which means that our clients have to medically qualify for our insurance products – this ensures a pool of healthy people, and with healthy people comes very reasonable costs. With traditional insurance, younger, healthier people pay more to subsidize the care of those who have chronic health problems like diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc. Why pay more to subsidize unhealthy people when you can be rewarded for your good health in the form of lower premiums?
What is your advice for people confused about health insurance?
Do your homework and seek out a trusted advisor who can educate you on which insurance options are best for your specific situation. If you have a chronic health condition and/or you’re eligible for an Obamacare subsidy, and ACA/Marketplace plan could be your best option. If you’re healthy and want to minimize your out of pocket expenses, while ensuring that if an illness or accident were to occur that you’d be well-covered, a Defined Benefit Plan might suit you best. Understand that you do have options, and in seeking out an educated advisor, you can likely get the coverage you need at a manageable price.
With transparent, affordable rates and personable service, New Era Health Care represents the way forward for health insurance providers everywhere. Be sure to get in touch with them to learn more about how they can be of benefit to you.