Health care costs are an ongoing source of concern for many Americans. Virtually all medical insurance plans come with co-pays and large annual deductibles. Since 2010, deductibles have risen at least 67%, even for employer-sponsored plans.1 Many common procedures, tests, scans and even hospital stays remain the patient’s responsibility.2
Advance knowledge is the best strategy
It’s important to know your coverage in advance when it comes to health-related expenses. Balancing medical expenses with other expenses by knowing what you may have to pay out of pocket for can make budget and financial planning easier.
Below are a few costs generally not covered by standard medical plans.
Strategies to avoid surprises
First, know your plan options and create room in your budget for the unexpected. Consider upping your Flexible Spending Account or Health Savings Account if you have one to help cover the costs.
In addition, many costs your medical plan won’t cover can be offset by supplementary insurances. Cancer insurance, critical illness insurance, accident insurance, and hospital indemnity insurance may be available through your workplace. Check with your benefits administrator to see whether you can opt in. For a few extra dollars a month, you may be able to head off a big source of financial uncertainty.
1Aimee Picchi, “The Painful Rise of High-Deductible Health Insurance,” CBS News.com, Feb.28, 2016
2 Jay Hancock, “Surprise! Some Job-Based Health Plans Don’t Cover Hospitalization,” National Public Radio (NPR), Jun. 18, 2015
5 “Life Risk of Developing or Dying from Cancer," American Cancer Society, Mar. 23, 2016
6 Guardian, "Why Medical Insurance is Not Enough,” GuardianLife.com, Apr. 26, 2016
7 Geoff Williams, "5 Hidden Costs of Hospital Visits," U.S. News & World Report, Apr.8,2014