I got the claim details email from by insurance provider not long ago for my recent emergency room visit. I became physically nervous when I saw that email in my inbox. The dollar amount on that form could impact my financial situation for months (or years) if my insurance company wanted to find loopholes to deny benefits. What was the financial damage? Well, in short, better than feared, worse than hoped.
The hospital bill was $11,287.03. My portion, thanks to my (high deductible) insurance, will be $3,020.50. I haven’t been presented with the bill yet so I have some time to plan. With my savings and another paycheck or two, I should be able to pay this off relatively quickly. Unfortunately, this will drain my savings back to nothing.
Immediately after that I will need to start saving money to pay for the surgery. I should have another $2,000-$3,000 to pay for that before maxing out my out-of-pocket expenses for the year.
Thanks to blonderbetterfasterstronger for reminding me about my HSA (Health Savings Account). For many of us with high-deductible health plans, we also have an HSA that allows us to save up to $3300 a year, pretax to be saved for health care costs. If used to cover health care, the money does not incur tax at payment either and is thus 100% tax-free. I opened my HSA last year. I should have about $2,000-$3,000 in there by now.
I don’t want to use this HSA money now, however. I’d prefer to build up my HSA savings as we are allowed to house our HSA money in investments to grow it over time. I think of it as a mini retirement investment account for healthcare. It will serve me better to cover more expensive medical procedures down the road.That’s my thinking for now anyway.
So, all in all, not so bad of a financial hit. I should be able to pay for these medical expenses by the end of June and then get back on track to build up savings and attack my student loan debt. It’s a delay, but a necessary one.
“Debtor’s prison is real, and opportunity cost is a bitch.” (DDSW)