in Personal

The Importance of Health Insurance

Ive talked about my health insurance in the last couple of posts, but today I got the explanation of benefits summary from my insurance company.� I didnt realize how much of a difference the negotiated rates make if you go with a provider that has signed on with your insurance company.� I realize this is extremely important for HMO and other network-based plans, but for my plan (I basically go to anyone I want without any hoops to jump through), I didnt think it would matter.� Turns out, it matters more than I would have imagined.�� Let me give you an example:

I had surgery to put in a screw in my foot.� The bill for that (not including anesthesia – thats a different bill) was $2250.� Since this provider has an agreement with my insurance company, they are only allowed to charge me $884.�� Since I have a high deductible that I havent used yet, I have to pay that $884 amount, but if I didnt have health insurance (and if the provider wasnt signed on with my insurance company) I might have had to pay the full $2250 – $1366 that I get to keep because a pay a little bit each month to my insurance company.� Not a bad deal huh?

So if youre thinking its ok to go without insurance, just think about this – it may cost more upfront to have it, but itll really pay off when you need it.� I did learn that I need to check out the providers beforehand when possible – since I might be liable to pay the full amount if I happened to choose one that wasnt signed on.� In my case, all of the providers I used turned out to be registered, but I didnt check before I went to them so it could have turned out much more costly – even with the insurance.� It just goes to show how taking a little more time upfront and making smart choices can really pay off down the line.