health insurance costs

What Your Health Insurance Company Isn’t Telling You

Health insurance premiums are skyrocketing and the coverage you are getting is likely going down. In fact, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana’s premiums are going up an average of 58% for 2017!

Now, it may feel like your healthcare is completely out of your control, but you have choices.

It’s becoming more and more common to have a high deductible health insurance plan because it’s the only type of coverage that is remotely affordable for people. With very high deductibles (the amount of money that you must pay out of pocket before the insurance company will pay any expenses), many people aren’t meeting their deductibles and aren’t getting any of their medical costs covered by their health insurance. In Montana, it’s common to have a deductible upwards of $5000-$6000.

Additionally, it’s important to know the “out-of-pocket maximum” for your plan. This is the maximum amount you’ll pay for health care services. It is typically higher than the deductible to account for things like co-pay and co-insurance.

Confused about all these terms? Here’s a great guide!

Ultimately, what this means is that lots of people are paying a huge amount of their own medical costs even though they have insurance!

What insurance companies aren’t telling you is that you may be able to get a cash or “self pay” price for a health care service that is lower than what you would pay using your insurance. For instance, at a Boulder, CO hospital an MRI of your knee would be $1,100, while the “self pay” rate is $600. This example and a deeper explanation are covered here.

Here’s another thing that insurance companies aren’t telling you. In the past, seeing an “in-network” health care provider was the most cost effective way to get your medical needs addressed. Now, with high deductible insurance plans, it often doesn’t matter if your doctor is in-network or out-of-network.

The good thing about this is that you have the power to make the right choice for your own health. You can decide what health care provider is the best fit for you regardless of if they are in or out-of-network.

We know health insurance costs are increasing dramatically, so arm yourself with this information, ask your healthcare provider about the cost of services and call your health insurance company. Then, you will be able to navigate these changes in a way that’s best for you.

It’s your time, your money, your health and YOUR choice.

Want to know more about all this complicated health insurance stuff? Check out The Complete Guide to Health Insurance

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