Monday, August 19, 2013

Reality update: living with a HSA (Health Savings Account/High deductible insurance plan)



July 1st was the start of our new medical insurance plan. Same insurance company, same "in plan MDs and facilities" just a significantly different way of doing business. My employer is providing $2000 per family plan employee, $1000 per individual plan employee-both deposited into a HSA for the 3 years of our contract; in 4 years, under another 3 year long contract, we may/not still get this perk. The employee should come up with minimally $2000/family plan or $1000/individual plan to meet the minimum out of pocket expenditure before the aforementioned insurance plan will pay a bill. The exception is well child/woman/adult care physicals, bi annual dental cleaning all of which are covered in full. OK.

We've had medical treatments, pharmacy bills, sick MD visits this past month. The first claims hit home today. My physical therapy, for instance, while I didn't have any co-pays this past month, I did incur, at the "in plan facility at a reduced, contracted rate" an over $2,100 bill for the month of July. So now I await an actual bill from the Hospital where I receive PT, and I can send them payment (remember: $2000 is in the account already). I will have to do one of 2 things once I get the hospital's bill:
-contact financial services, make a partial payment, and make arrangements to pay off the balance over the next few months, knowing that I will be depositing $200/month into the aforementioned HSA
-OR, move $2000 over from my savings NOW, pay off any/all bills (again more will be rolling in)and reimburse myself at the tune of $200/month from Sept-June.  Kind of leaning on this one but need to research any tax issues with that

I have been continuing with PT in August (Surgeon apt tomorrow) and know that I've already incurred an additional $1171 so far this month at the discounted rate! and anticipate continuing with additional PT, although perhaps dropping down to once a week. (surgeon will decide tomorrow morning when I see him) We will certainly hit the $4000/family cap come the end of August, at which point, I won't have to pay anything out of pocket so long as the MD/pharmacy/facility is in plan.

Anyone with experience in dealing with a HSA? I also wonder how "covered" over the counter items are paid for once the cap is met-do I submit to insurance as a claim? SO many questions!

1 comment:

Bobbie said...

We had Connecticare for the first 23 years of our marriage. I called my kids my "$5.00 babies." My husband's company switched over to a HSA a year ago. Our deductible is $5,000! My husband's philosophy is to pay our medical bills out of pocket now while we're both working, and keep the money we have accumulated in our account for retirement. He has estimated that we could have $50,000 in the account by retirement.

I have been pleasantly surprised by what we are billed - it seems as though Cigna negotiates a decent rate for doctor visits.

We also get well visits, ob/gyn, etc. My biggest worry was my colonoscopy (my third, as my mother died from colon cancer). If the exam came back "clean", the entire procedure would be covered. If the doctor found even one polyp, I would have had to pay for the procedure. Luckily, I didn't have to pay.

When I had Connecticare I never hesitated to call/schedule an appointment, but now I admit I think twice before calling.