For many of us, when we go to the doctor now, we pay a co-payment. This is usually a very affordable amount which encourages us to see someone when we are sick. In January, many insurance plans, including mine, are changing to a higher deductible with an 80/20 payment split. My new family out-of-pocket maximum will be $7000. So, if I continue my health care savings account of $2500, this means it is possible that I may have to pay $4500 out-of-pocket for health care. My family deductible will be $2400, so my health care savings will be able to take care of at least that much.
Just like if I were saving for a big purchase, it seems like a good idea to start saving for a health care emergency. We should know what our family out-of-pocket maximum is so we know how much we might be on the hook for. For me, $4500 on hand should be the minimum I need to cover out-of-pocket costs. This amount allows me the freedom from worry about whether I will be able to afford the care needed. When kids are sick, the cost of getting them well never seems to be the first thought. So think of this as a down payment on any future healthcare you may need to purchase.