February is Wise Health Consumer month. There are lots of different terms and phrases that you hear regarding health care. Don’t find yourself strangled by health care costs. Here’s what you need to know.
- Co-pay: the amount of money you have to pay every time you have a particular medical expense (often an office visit)
- Co Insurance: the amount of money that the insurance does not pay. Commonly they pay 80% and you would pay 20% of a medical expense
- Deductible: The amount of money you must pay out of pocket for a medical expense before your insurance begins to pay
- Maximum Benefit: The total amount of money an insurance company will pay for medical expenses. There could be a yearly maximum and/or lifetime maximum.
- Premium: The cost of your insurance plan, usually paid monthly. This amount does not contribute toward your deductible.
Typically, the higher the premium, the lower the co-pay, co-insurance, and deductible. When choosing the best plan for you and your family, come prepared. Review what you have paid in the past, then look to the next few years…will you have a child? Need major surgery? Have a of doctor visits? What are your other big expenses? The answers to these questions can help decide what plan is best.
Other options that are new: health savings accounts, catastrophic insurance, and healthy benefits such as payment for fitness memberships and wellness check-ups! Be a wise consumer and do your homework to make sure your insurance is truly a healthy benefit!
Guest post by Stephanie Johnson, Physical Therapist