5 Tips to Save Money While Getting Quality Health Care

The overwhelming mass of uninsured Americans is firsthand evidence that health insurance is too expensive – as if we didn’t already know.

On average, middle-income families with individual coverage spend 22 percent of their income on health care. Others pay up to 50 percent of their household income on health coverage, according to data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

To avoid paying more for less quality coverage, it’s essential to compare insurance options and gather as many quotes as possible. There are, however, some other ways to save money on health insurance, too.

The National Children’s Cancer Society Observes 25 Years

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – The battle against childhood cancer is ongoing. Over the past 20 years, incidence of children diagnosed with cancer has risen from 11.5 cases per 100,000 children in 1975 to 14.8 per 100,000 children in 2004 — during this same time, however, death rates declined dramatically, according to the National Cancer Institute. Many experts agree that these higher survival rates can be attributed to better medicine — and awareness.
One such organization that delivers essential action, The National Children’s Cancer Society (NCCS), has established a legacy of providing emotional, financial and educational assistance to children with cancer and their families.
This year, NCCS is marking its 25th anniversary — that’s 25 years of assistance to more than 28,000 children in the U.S. Since its beginning, NCCS has grown and evolved with programs such as the Pediatric Oncology Program (POP), which has distributed over $52 million to families, and Beyond the Cure. This year alone, Beyond the Cure — a survivorship program designed to educate children and their families about the challenges they may face as childhood cancer survivors — has awarded $100,000 in college scholarships to 32 cancer survivors.
“The NCCS recipients show all of us how to successfully turn a challenge into something positive,” says Mark Stolze, NCCS president and CEO. “The Beyond the Cure Scholarship Program is a vehicle to help these individuals move forward with their lives in a meaningful way.”
The programs give children suffering from cancer a better chance to make a full recovery, especially children who don’t have access to quality health care or proper treatment. And POP lessens the family’s financial strain by helping with the ongoing expenses of treatment, such as meal assistance, gas money and, in some cases, health insurance premiums. This gives some added peace of mind to those parents whose incomes have become affected by their child’s illness.
For more information on the NCCS or coping with pediatric cancer, go to www.thenccs.org. To learn more about Beyond the Cure, visit www.beyondthecure.org.

The National Children’s Cancer Society Celebrates 25-Year Commitment

It’s hard not to be moved when you hear about the stress that cancer can put on a family – especially when it affects a child. It’s now time to salute one of the driving forces behind the efforts to try make these lives a little more joyful and longer.

Over the past 20 years, incidence of children diagnosed with cancer has risen from 11.5 cases per 100,000 children in 1975 to 14.8 per 100,000 children in 2004 — during this same time, however, death rates declined dramatically, according to the National Cancer Institute. Many experts agree that these higher survival rates can be attributed to better medicine — and awareness.

Expanded Health Insurance Options Increase Choices for Cancer Care

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – UnitedHealthcare and Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) announced a new multi-year agreement that will expand health care options and accessibility for many cancer patients at all four hospitals in the CTCA network.

The new agreement, effective July 1, 2009, provides UnitedHealthcare Options PPO customers access to more than 330 physicians across all four CTCA-affiliated cancer treatment hospitals. CTCA serves patients with complex cancer at hospitals located in Philadelphia and Tulsa and suburban Chicago and Phoenix.

“This is a welcome choice for cancer patients,” said Kimberly Perrin of Washington, D.C., a UnitedHealthcare plan participant who is being treated at CTCA. “Cancer patients need increased access to quality cancer care and more options when it comes to choosing a hospital that is right for each of us.”

UnitedHealthcare Options PPO customers can call the number on the back of their UnitedHealthcare member identification card to verify they have access to the CTCA hospitals. Cancer patients may also call 888-353-7687 to speak with a CTCA oncology information specialist for access verification.

“This is very good news for consumers across the nation,” said Tom Wiffler, president and CEO of UnitedHealthcare of Illinois. “The addition of CTCA to UnitedHealthcare’s broad national network gives our customers increased choice, and access to affordable, quality health care.”

The agreement is consistent with UnitedHealthcare’s longstanding commitment to promote evidence-based decision-making and aims to benefit employers and employees alike by promoting consistent, high-quality care.

“Our new agreement with UnitedHealthcare will enable more patients to access our fully integrated, individualized model of cancer care,” said Steve Bonner, president and CEO of CTCA. “At CTCA, we strive to empower patients as advocates and decision-makers. Giving patients and their families more cancer care options extends that commitment to patient empowerment.”

“Cancer patients deserve choice, access and quality when it comes to medical decisions; among the most important decisions they’ll make in their lives,” said Dr. Edgar D. Staren, senior vice president for clinical affairs and chief medical officer at CTCA.

For more information about Cancer Treatment Centers of America, visit www.cancercenter.com.