We’re days away from September and that means there are only four months left in this healthcare benefit year. Time moves fast! And because it’s moving so quickly, now is the time to take a critical look at where you are with your benefits and assess your upcoming medical needs. Planning ahead for your benefits could end up saving you a lot of money in 2015.
How Much Have You Paid Into Your Deductible?
A deductible is the amount of money you have to pay before your insurance kicks in. High deductibles are now the norm with many insurance plans, now, so people like you are paying thousands of dollars towards your deductible amount. Once you’ve met your deductible for the year, your insurance starts paying their portion of your medical expenses.
In these last four months, it’s helpful to know where you are with your deductible and what that means in terms of upcoming care. How much have you paid towards your deductible?
• Have you already met your deductible amount for 2014?
• Are you close to meeting your deductible for 2014?
Take for example, a family health insurance plan with a $4000 deductible. If you’ve paid $4000 towards that deductible amount, it’s paid in full and that means that any remaining care for 2014 will be covered, in part, by your health insurance.
If you’ve only paid $3000 of that $4000 deductible, you can still expect to pay that difference of $1000 out-of-pocket. Remember, even after you’ve met your deductible, there are other out-of-pocket costs to consider. Read about what health costs you can expect and when to expect them.
Plan Smart for Upcoming Medical Care
Why is it so important to know where you are with your deductible amount?
You can plan for your family’s upcoming care. These last four months of 2014 are your chance to maximize your health benefits. If you have already met the deductible or are fairly close, it’s in your best interest to schedule the medical care you know you need within these next four months.
Why? Because your deductible amount will reset on January 1, 2015. That means that you’ll have to pay your deductible in-full again before your insurance kicks in. So if you know you need a knee MRI or your husband is planning on receiving care for his shoulder, schedule these procedures now.
And remember, don’t pay twice. If you haven’t met your plan’s deductible, providers and facilities may ask for your payment before your receive care. This payment goes towards your deductible amount. However, there is sometimes up to a 90 day claims lag. That means that even if you’ve already met your deductible in full, and your insurance company should be billed, your doctor’s office might not know because it isn’t showing in the computer yet.
Keeping track of your own deductible helps you avoid this confusion. Instead of paying out-of-pocket for care and then having to seek a refund later, you can inform the billing department that you’ve already met your deductible and ask them to bill you instead.
Trying to plan ahead and need some help?
Planning for your healthcare expenses can be complicated. If you are trying to determine what’s in your best interest, comment below and let us help!