Top Medical Insurance Providers

here are several health insurance carriers in the country and still, it is sad to see that not everyone are able to fully protect themselves and their family from medical emergencies due to the rising cost of health coverage. Good for those who enjoy the opportunity to be part of group health insurance as they pay low or nothing at all. For most Americans, it is a shoo-in for individual health insurance, or nothing at all.

While individual health insurance can be more costly than group health insurance, it would be more costly not to have any coverage at all. To make the search for the perfect medical insurance carriers easier, it would be ideal to check out their backgrounds and what they can offer to their customers.

Here are the top medical insurance carriers as rated by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners based on market share:

Unitedhealth Group

The UnitedHealth Group is comprised of UnitedHealthcare, one of the many medical insurance carriers that serve millions of customers all over the United States. The Group offers healthcare plans that provide access to high-quality healthcare not limited to the 50 states but also in other international markets. The union of UnitedHealthcare and Golden Rule Insurance Company in 2003 has led to the provision of health insurance solutions and innovative health insurance products to many families. One of the many criticisms lodged against medical insurance carriers is the processing speed of claims. This company is proud of being able to process 94 percent of all health insurance claims in ten business days or even fewer. Medical insurance providers like United provide a toll-free customer service line for consumer inquiries.


Amongst all the other medical insurance carriers, WellPoint has the biggest membership of 34 million for its affiliated health plans. The company provides health benefit solutions and products including long-term health insurance, life and disability insurance and behavioral health assistance services along with others. Health coverage is supplied by this company to over 30 million members through the Blue Cross and Blue Shield name. It provides a variety of health plans including indemnity, HMO, PPO, hybrid plans for businesses, and recipients of Medicaid and Medicare. WellPoint has 37,500 employees as of 2010.

Kaiser Foundation Group

The Kaiser Foundation Group includes Kaiser Permanente which in turn is composed of the Kaiser Foundation Health Plans, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and the Permanente Medical Groups. With at least 8.7 million members in the District of Columbia and nine states, Kaiser is respected as the largest non-profit health plan in the US. It is famous for offering an integrated health care delivery model to its members including emergency care, well-baby and prenatal care, pre-emptive care, pharmacy services, hospital visits and medical services. It has a network of 32 medical centers, 416 medical offices and 13,729 doctors.


Aetna is one of the healthcare leaders amongst the many medical insurance carriers in the United States. They provide employee benefits, disability coverage, group life, pharmacy and dental plans. Aetna is supported by 154 years of heritage, having been created in 1850. It has a total of 34,024 employees and covers all 50 states. This firm has 16.6 million members and has a network of 4771 hospitals and over 470,000 doctors and specialists.


HumanaOne provides inexpensive health coverage and targets recent college graduates, early retirees, entrepreneurs and those who are not covered by work. It aims to make insurance plans more affordable to these sectors by providing low insurance costs of up to 50 percent. As one of the largest publicly-traded health insurance providers in the country, HumanaOne has a network of over 3,000 hospitals, over 350,000 medical providers and over 50,000 pharmacies all over the United States.

Knowing about the leading medical insurance providers will give consumers an idea of what to look for while selecting their own medical insurance carriers including the quality of health insurance provided, costs, and the total network of the provider.

Medical Practice Marketing – Best Practices For Attracting New Patients Using Health IT Capabilities

Effective marketing is a key play for any business, regardless of industry. Attracting new patients to a medical practice is no different. Most often, physicians market their credentials, emphasizing their education, board certifications, experience, and hospital affiliations. Also, many physicians establish relationships with other providers to create a referral network and many practices encourage existing patients to refer friends and family to the practice.

While this marketing approach is considered a proven best practice within the medical community, current technology offers another marketing lever that few physicians are using. Health IT and technology investments and capabilities can be a powerful competitive advantage.

Health IT systems like electronic health records (EHR) technology are designed to achieve two basic fundamental objectives: First, they enable physicians to deliver more efficient, higher quality care to patients. Second, these systems simultaneously provide patients with greater control and more convenient access to their health care.

So why aren’t more physicians and medical practices educating and marketing their capabilities to new and existing patients?

While the final answer to this question will require further study, I do know that in the not so distant future, patients will become more familiar with medical technology and the impact it has on their health. As this awareness builds, it will play a more significant role in how patients decide which physician to choose for their care.

With the last thought in mind, here are a few best practices that physicians and medical practices could adopt to better educate their existing patients while effectively marketing to future patients:

First, create a tab on the physician or medical practice website called Technology. This section should be dedicated to list all of the technology the physician or medical practice utilizes for patients care along with the benefits to the patient. This tab can also be used to announce new technologies, capabilities and system upgrades.

Second, educate existing patients. Physicians or medical practices may produce and distribute a handout comprised of the same information listed on the Technology tab of their website. The physician or medical practice may update their patient handout as updates to the Technology tab are made. This best practice could be a powerful approach to leverage in order to educate and retain existing patients. Knowledge is power!

Also, the following examples illustrate how physicians and medical practices can showcase their technology capabilities and announce upcoming enhancements on the Technology tab of their website:

Develop a tag line to serve as the header of the Technology page of your website that speaks to the identity of your practice. An example of what this header may look like:

Excellence in Medicine… Patient Driven Physicians… Superior Technology

Upon developing the identity tag line for your practice, list all of your technology capabilities and upcoming enhancements followed by a brief description highlighting the value or benefit your technology investments will bring to your new and existing patients. An example of what this list may look like:

Electronic Health Record (EHR) – Our physicians deliver exceptional, efficient and accurate care that can be easily transferred to your Personal Health record (PHR) or to other providers allowing immediate access to your medical history.

Paperless office – No more forms! Patients will be provided a computer tablet to provide new and updated information upon arrival.

Patient Reports & eNotifications – EHR allows for automated examination and lab results for your review at the conclusion of your office visit and via our online patient portal.

New!… eClaims – Insurance claims are processed immediately upon conclusion of your office visit. In most cases, you will no longer have to stop by the business office resulting in saving you time and money.

Coming Soon… ePrescriptions – We will soon be providing electronic transmission of your prescriptions to the pharmacy of your choice. We will save you time by not having to wait at the pharmacy. Launch Date: November 1, 2011.

Put these proven best practices to use and see your practice thrive and grow.

Good luck!

Training Is of the Essence for Today’s Professional Medical Couriers

When it comes to courier services, few deliveries demand a greater level of care than those involving sensitive healthcare documents and medical substances. After all, this is not candy or flowers you’re transporting. This is someone’s most private medical material, including anything from human blood and tissue samples to test results and X-rays to patient records and supplies. With packages of this nature on the line, medical courier services must adhere to a stringent set of delivery processes and procedures, as well as comply with a complex array of government guidelines and regulations.

For starters, in order to maintain the integrity of a specimen and ensure accurate testing, each and every sample must be packed and shipped in accordance with the universal guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). One wrong move could render a specimen useless, making it necessary to collect a second sample and possibly delaying the patient’s treatment. It could also risk exposing the medical courier to potentially hazardous or infectious blood samples and fluids.

Time and temperature are of the utmost importance when transporting medical substances, as are the use of proper receptacles and handling specifications. Blood specimens for potassium and cortisol, for example, need to be tested within two hours from the time they are collected. Otherwise, they have to be stored in special separator tubes to avoid flawed test results. Often, blood specimens need to be transported in an upright position to promote complete clot formation. In addition, all specimens, regardless of their contents, are required to be sealed in a leak-proof container and kept at the correct temperature to safeguard the condition of the sample. Specimens that are transported in temperatures that are either too cold or too hot can alter a laboratory’s test results, leading to misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment of the patient.

HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, is another government mandate that outlines procedures for the proper delivery of medical material. Signed into law in 1996, the HIPAA Privacy Rule sets a national standard to protect an individual’s medical records and other personal health information. For a medical courier service, that means additional training in the way confidential medical materials must be secured and documented during the transit process.

Above all else, medical couriers must be trained with an emphasis on safety and responsibility. As the conduit between medical centers, laboratories, clinics, doctor offices, pharmacies, and the rest of the nation’s healthcare network, they play an enormous role in upholding the validity of medical materials. In addition to following protocol throughout the entire distribution process, they must also be prepared to file affidavits and document the chain of custody whenever necessary.

With so much to learn about transporting medically sensitive materials, it all comes down to training for today’s professional medical courier. Considering the constraints of time, temperature, and red tape, it’s a whole new level of “handle with care.”