Risk Management Part Deux

*I apologize that this post is late – got a chance to do some contract work yesterday and had to jump on it!*

Last week on Wednesday, I gave you a run down on my thoughts about buying health insurance.  In particular, I gave you an analysis of looking at a high deductible policy versus my old “Cadillac” one and talked about the pros and cons of the different options out there.

This week I want to make it a bit more personal, and share some of the “aha’s” and “gotcha’s” that have come out of that decision.

Most importantly, what I want to share is that going to a high-deductible policy that did NOT have a co-pay program for doctor visits changed our healthcare behavior.

We stopped going to the doctor when we really needed to.

Why?  Plain and simple, we would have to pay out of pocket as nothing was covered until the deductible was met.

About two months ago, I couldn’t ignore an odd looking spot on my leg any longer.  I finally sucked up and made an appointment.  The doctor agreed it needed to be biopsied, which we did on the spot.  Within days I had the news that it was nothing worrisome.

Thank goodness, because the bill almost gave me a heart attack!

$148 for the office visit, and a whopping $371 for the pathologists.  And this WITH insurance adjusted rates.  This one visit wiped out half of my HSA (Health Savings Account).

Today, I got the bill for what it will cost to COBRA that policy.  It’s ridiculously expensive and not even market competitive.  After some searching and researching, I quickly identified that we could either get substantially better coverage for that amount, or just somewhat better coverage for less.  I’m going to spend more than I had hoped, but will have LESS risk.

Having had the above experience though, I will share that I do plan on springing for a policy that gives us basic doctor visits for a copay without having to satisfy the deductible.   I noticed how much we avoided seeking basic care because of the cost just over the past six months. I still have a teen at home – if he needs to see a doctor, I don’t want to second guess the situation.

Perhaps MY experience will help you get a feeling for the risk you can tolerate.

A votre santé.



Recovering MBA. Writer. Photographer. Scanner. Learning Addict. Airplane Geek. Teacher. Certification Collector. Serenity Seeker. Semi-retiree in training.