Author Topic: Hospital Bills Just Insane  (Read 1650 times)

Metalsatsuma1212

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Hospital Bills Just Insane
« on: May 18, 2017, 11:09:24 AM »
I get so tired of paying thousands of $'s to doctors visits etc. We have Providence Silver insurance through my work. My hubby is a type 1 diabetic and has to have his kidneys and other organs checked out because of the complications. My son (3) has a speech delay as well so he has monthly therapy for that. Are there any tips on saving on these bills that really eat away at our savings? Health care in the US is terrible I know but I feel like there is more I can do to save money. 

bigalsmith101

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Re: Hospital Bills Just Insane
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2017, 11:41:56 AM »
Have you done a cost comparison of stepping up to the next level insurance plan (gold?)? Will the increase in premium pay for itself?

A friend of mine was diagnosed with MS a couple years ago. That year, he maxed out his deductible ($4000), and had about $6500 in total out of pocket expenses. The next year, he went for the more expensive insurance option that his work offered. It cost him an extra $125/mo, but dropped his deductible down to $500. The second year out of pocket expenses were closer to $2500. A significant savings considering his required hospital visits.

Metalsatsuma1212

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Re: Hospital Bills Just Insane
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2017, 11:58:18 AM »
The small company I work for seems to not allow us to change plans since they decide what we have. We had Gold last year but were downgraded to silver this year.

honeybbq

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Re: Hospital Bills Just Insane
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2017, 12:30:06 PM »
So you only have 1 option for health insurance? I guess the best thing to do is just budget for your max OOP expense every year (unfortunately).

My spouse was diagnosed with cancer right before open enrollment last year (how handy!) and basically he looked at the *real* max out of pocket costs which included monthly premiums and the max OOP amount. He ran thru all the scenarios and added up the figures knowing he'd have 100k+++ of medical costs this year. It ended up being most effective to go with the costliest (lowest deductable) plan.

Personally, I always pick the highest deductible plan which costs $0 for an individual every month plus the ability to contribute to an HSA (which is a million times better than an FSA). Even if I have a catastrophic event, my max OOP is only $3500 which is lower than the next tiered premiums alone.

RedwoodDreams

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Re: Hospital Bills Just Insane
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2017, 04:03:13 PM »
Yes, illness can really mess up the budget. My strategy at least for this year was to get the low deductible plan so that at least I could calculate my max out of pocket amount and budget for that, knowing that I'd meet it. The premiums are more expensive, but I like the predictability of knowing the max amount.

I also itemized medical expenses this year for the first time. I think you can deduct anything greater than 10% of your AGI. If that could work for you, keep track of everything, including mileage to/from appointments. And you can include vision and dental costs as well.

If you end up owing a big balance, I've heard that you can also negotiate a lower payoff amount if you pay off the balance in cash on the spot...Haven't done this yet myself, however.

trashmanz

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Re: Hospital Bills Just Insane
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2017, 04:10:04 PM »
If its a really large portion of the budget you may want to try switching jobs. 

Metalsatsuma1212

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Re: Hospital Bills Just Insane
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2017, 05:47:36 PM »
Thank you for the comments everyone. I will need to evaluate the out oop expense for the year. It seems to be about $300 a month plus medication for hubby.

Abe

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Re: Hospital Bills Just Insane
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2017, 07:32:40 PM »
Let his physician know the financial stress the exams are having on you all. They may be ordering routine tests that don't necessarily change their management much, without realizing the cost to you. Of course we don't know the details of why the tests are being done, but it won't hurt to ask the doctor next time if things can be spaced out a bit.

Axecleaver

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Re: Hospital Bills Just Insane
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2017, 10:39:19 PM »
You might be surprised at how bad the plans are which businesses buy - sometimes they're paying more for less coverage than is available to the public. Consider buying a plan on the health insurance exchange. You won't qualify for subsidies, but you still may come out ahead. Then talk to your job and ask them to subsidize your insurance.