Medical Deductible season is here! Why are my medical bills so high in January? How much is my deductible? Each year individuals and families struggle to identify what medical services “apply to” the deductible. Honestly, thinking about medical expenses is frustrating. Personally, I don’t blame you. However, it is important. Here’s why:
Why it matters
Are you pregnant or planning to be pregnant? Hospital costs for your delivery apply to the medical deductible. Plus, once the absolute precious bundle of joy is born, he/she counts towards their own hospital visit. Surprise, these costs are not included in the room and board charges for mommy.
Did you accidently break a bone? The X-Ray and/or MRI used to verify your bone is in fact broken, is not free and it counts towards the medical deductible. Basically, you will likely pay out of pocket.
Do you have a prescription? Carefully read your benefits booklet for your health insurance. Often prescriptions apply to the deductible. People are usually astonished each January when the Pharmacist calculates their cost at the register, arguing this price cannot be right.
Is your family, similar to ours?
If you are similar to us, your health insurance in complicated. We are a family of 5. Luckily, the 2 fur babies do not count towards our medical expenses. My husband and I have separate medical insurance policies; however, both are through the state exchanges. The fun part is all our medical insurance options are considered high-deductible health insurance plans. Even if you have an employer-sponsored health insurance these days, likely there is a looming annual deductible.
My employer-sponsored deductible is $1,600. However, I only need to pay my medical deductible for hospital-based services. My doctor visits for my 10 month old and I are a small fee, copayment, and the health insurance pays the remainder of the costs. The same applies to prescriptions. However, my husband does not have it as good.
His medical deductible is $6,500, which applies to all medical services. If he goes to the doctor, urgent care, hospital, etc. he is paying out of pocket until he has spent $6,500. To compensate for this extremely high deductible, my stubborn husband rarely goes to the doctors. The good news is you can forecast for these costs. Check out our cost calculator tool.
In the end, the deductible is significant. It is a part of your total medical expenses each year. Like New Year’s, it starts in January. Each individual or family will accrue medical services at a different rate. Lastly, there is no way to know exactly when you will “met” your deductible each year. You can bet the 1st time you go to the doctors in the New Year, you may end up with an extremely expensive bill from your visit.
Be sure to watch for our next blog on how to easily calculate medical costs. In 3 steps, you can account for medical expenses. This prevents any hidden costly surprises later.