High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP’s) are here to stay. Over the past couple of weeks we examined HDHP’s and discussed Health Savings Accounts (HSA’s). Today we will help you with an action plan to manage costs associated with HDHP’s.
It’s worth repeating, the first step you should take is to establish an HSA and benefit from using tax advantaged dollars for your out-of-pocket healthcare expenses. You can find more about this in our post on the importance and advantages of HSA’s.
Once you have established an HSA, it’s time to start saving money. Let’s start with prevention. You are in control of your own healthcare. It is important to take steps to prevent illness and disease. Most HDHP’s cover prevention screenings and annual check-ups prior to meeting your deductible. Be sure to take advantage of those opportunities so that you don’t have to use your insurance as much later in life.
In addition, it’s important to adopt health-promoting behaviors, such as exercise, smoking cessation and eating a healthy diet. Of course, these are all things you can do regardless if you have an HDHP. Let’s look at some specific factors to help you manage costs in your HDHP.
Read your plan documents carefully so that you know what is covered before the deductible is met.
If you have funds available in your HSA after your deductible is met, you may continue to use the account for co-pays and other health expenses that might not be covered by your HDHP.
Talk to your providers. They may be able to help you find less expensive medications or treatment options.
Speak up! Ask questions to help yourself get the best care and avoid out-of-pocket expenses.
Before your appointment, use tools like the Fair Health Consumer Cost Lookup to determine possible out-of-pocket expenses. This tool will allow you to enter specific procedures or types of visits to determine your potential expense related to the geographic area that you live in.
As a healthcare consumer, you have many treatment options. Use search engines, social media and other tools to find the best situation for you. At Emergency One, co-pays and procedures will save you from one-quarter to one-third the cost of a hospital visit to the ER. Not only will you save money, often several hundred dollars, you’ll save time, too!
If you have questions about HDHP’s, please do not hesitate to contact us at 845.338.5600. We’ll work with you to determine the best options for you and to help you discover services we provide that might be eligible for reimbursement prior to meeting your deductible.