Friday, September 6, 2013

Reality of a HSA/high deductible medical insurance plan


Reality is quickly setting in: we had to "eat" the first $4000 of incurred medical expenses, before our medical insurance would pay, at the negotiated "in plan" rate. This excludes well woman care,physicals. Within 6 weeks, we did just that. Now, the insurance EOB's are rolling in, as well as the bills. Case in point: my PT for the month of July, at twice a week is setting me back over $1900. While my employer had put in $2000 into my Heath Savings Account in early July, per our negotiated contract, the remaining $2000 will be taken out of my pay twice a month (on the 15th and 30th) from Sept thru June. It'll be some time before those coffers are filled. I also continued with PT twice a week in August, so I anticipate another, although not as large as we've maxed out our $4000 deductible, to be arriving within a few weeks as well.

Meanwhile, how to pay off what is owed? I had to contact the Financial Services Dept of the hospital where I get rehab, to discuss an error in a different bill. Since I had the customer rep on the phone, I inquired if I could make payment arrangements to pay off the balance, as I had already paid $580, bringing the balance down to just under $1400. She asked how much I was thinking per month. I replied, "$200." Sure, no problem. She is sending me the paperwork and a monthly billing that I should get in a few weeks. Meanwhile, although we have spent some of the initial $2000 my employer deposited, my matching $2000 will be earmarked monthly as I make $100 deposits into the HSA, then mail in the payments. There is no prepayment penalty or interest (at least that is what she told me). This is something new to me, I have never made payment arrangements with a creditor before. They seemed quite happy to do so.

So, I await reading the fine print to make sure that I understand what financial commitment I am making. I do NOT want to incurr any interest on top of the $ I have to spend for medical services received. Anyone ever made arrangements to pay back a hospital? Do they normally charge monthly interest?

4 comments:

lisa said...

I did the same arrangements with the hospital I was in after surgery from cancer... No interest... As long as you pay monthly... They really have no choice now with everything that is happening with health care.. We had a good insurance plan but I still had a deductible of $3500 each year.. I was in the hospital in 2011 with a bacteria infection caused by chemo and had all the chemo treatments in September of 2011 and more chemo treatments in 2012 and then surgery in March 2012... so I had $7000 to pay back with deductibles... it all added up quickly... so far year 2013 has been healthy... 2014 we start with the new health insurance where we have to pay everything up front till we hit a deductible of $4000 each and then they pay 80% only.. They give us $500 each to go into the fund.. We are going to continue with the premium amounts that we have been paying this year and just have it put in that fund... so we won't miss it...

We will have to get use to new stuff and really have to take care of ourselves... Companies are going to make profits big time this way...They blame it on Obama Care...they pushed it off the last I heard to 2015 and do you think the companies will keep the Cadillac versions till then...NOPE.... it's cheaper for companies this new way... I told my hubby that I am so glad I had cancer when I did.... because after I hit the deductibles they covered 100%.... chemo treatments are not cheap....

Sorry this is so long... Lisa...

ND Chic said...

I think most medical facilities will take your money any way they can get it now. I would doubt if there is something in the fine print about interest but I would check it out anyway.

Marcia in rural WNY said...

My DD is paying on a hospital bill now for her recent surgery. She made arrangements because they are on a limited income---then her DH got hurt at work and went on Workman's Comp--so she called them and let them know right away, and they said she could skip the payments until he went back to work (maybe 6 months total). In the meantime, they sent the bill to collection and she panicked when she got a collection notice, so she did cough up a payment or two so as not to destroy her credit rating, but is back on suspended payments now till he goes back to work. He had surgery in mid-August and is doing PT now also--hopefully will be back to work in a couple more months. In the meantime, while they have been able to live on the Workman's Comp, nothing has gone into the 401(k) since he's been off. And the hospital bill is still lurking. Not only both of them, but my DGD also had surgery at Easter time for a gall bladder removal--at age 21! What are the odds that 3 out of 3 in the family need surgery within the same 6 month period? (DH and I helped to pay for DGD's out of pocket costs--I couldn't see stretching them any further, and I don't want to delay her graduation from college in May 14.

Julia said...

my son had surgery for an injury in December, 2012, then again for the same injury in January, 2013 so we had to satisfy two $5,000 deductibles! I made monthly payments without contacting the hospital and they never charged my interest.