By Christopher Chung, DPM
Deductibles; Knowing where your money is going and why your health is a priority
Knowing the purpose of your deductible is essential to understanding how to get the most beneficial health coverage for whatever medical treatments you may need contingent on your health conditions.
So what is a deductible? To put it simply, it’s the amount of money that a patient is responsible for when faced with an insured loss. If you are put in a position where you need medical treatment for a serious or even life threatening medical condition, you don’t find yourself stuck between a rock and a hard place. The diagnostic examination and sometimes life saving treatment needed for such conditions will require lower premiums if a deductible is met before those conditions arise. It is either a certain dollar amount or a certain percentage of the amount of insurance you are currently under.
It isn’t too dissimilar to why one would favor putting down a larger down payment on a house and keeping the monthly payments low and more affordable rather than keep the down payment at zero and have to pay a larger monthly payment with more interest in the long run. If your home is located in a dangerous or high risk neighborhood, you should take the necessary steps to better prepare for the likely natural disasters or unwanted run-ins of which you might be caught in. At the end of the day, you don’t want a plan with an enormous deductible which may financially strain your expenses but one in which you comfortably pay the highest amount you can easily afford without that investment negatively affecting your overall expenditure. It’s very much like a balancing act.
But one might question “why do I need to pay anything at all? I’m pretty healthy and never have any medical problems”. The unavoidable truth is none of us have a crystal ball foreseeing what might happen to our health which is why we need to make sure we do everything we can to maintain it.
Once a deductible is met, important diagnostic resources such as x-rays, biopsy and MRI as well as treatments with orthotics or even surgery may be fully covered within the insurance’s guidelines. These are the steps needed for your better health. Better health means you are more sufficiently equipped to take care of your kids or your parents, taking that trip you’ve always wanted, spending time with your loved ones for the time we have with them or even being able to perform optimally for the job you’ve worked so hard to keep and excel in. In addition, if you have a health savings account, it resets by the end of the calendar year in most cases, so utilizing it before it disappears would be in your best interest.
Having been involved in the medical community for a number of years tells you one thing; nothing is guaranteed and everyone eventually has to deal with something that might put a wrench in those plans. However that doesn’t mean it’s an absolute loss cause unless we take the necessary steps to ensure we get the best treatment that we need when we need it.