Wednesday, April 11, 2012

More on health insurance

Yesterday I finally sucked it up and made some calls regarding the $700 ultrasound I was quietly freaking out about. Turns out, there is a location that can do the procedure for an estimated $150 - TOTAL - and they are also closer to my house with more convenient hours. Win-win-win!

I called my doctor's office to ask for a referral to that location, and am just waiting on a call back so I can set up the appointment. Whew!

This is good, because the bill I had to pay to get the referral to the $700 place....was also $700. *headdesk*

Here's the thing: all that research I did last year regarding private dental insurance and high deductible medical insurance is really great in theory - but when I have to actually pay that high deductible out of pocket, it hurts. We've been building up a stronger emergency fund after buying a house (and buying jeeps, and paying taxes...) so we didn't have the full $3,000 deductible set aside separate from our emergency fund, which we probably should have. We can pay this bill (and truthfully, we could pay the $700 ultrasound bill, too) in cash, but it puts a dent in our overall savings plan.

Not to mention that because medical insurance is a pre-tax deduction, it's not like I actually got $2,300 more per year in my paychecks once I opted out of my company's plan. Will the high deductible plan save us money at the end of the year? Maybe - but I'm already a third of the way to the point where it will be more expensive than if we'd stayed with my company's insurance, and the year is only a third over. So...maybe not.

I think this is one of those things that no amount of reading or predicting will actually prepare you for. We're locked into this situation for the rest of 2012, but we will be revisiting it during open enrollment in October.

I wish I could tie my experiences into the larger health care discussion, but to be honest, the one thing I've learned from this is that it's nearly impossible to predict how a particular scenario will play out until you're actually in it. That's why I'm very cautious about anyone on either side of the debate who says with any authority that a certain outcome is guaranteed.

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes doctors tend to recommend you to go to certain places for some test because they know the person there and they usually refer patients to each other, they don't consider the price that you have to deal with.

    I agree with you that is is extremely difficult to predict a particular outcome when it comes to health. Personally I prefer a lower deductible and higher premiums. I usually don't visit the doctor so it's never helped me there, but I've had a lot of dental appointments these past 2 years and having a low deductible has been a blessing, but I did know that I had a lot of appointments though since the first time I went.

    I'd consider a higher deductible only if I had a really large cash savings.


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