Many of us will experience a change in our insurance next year as employers look to cut costs, insurance companies look to reduce risk, and the government looks to cover everyone. Costs will go up and coverage will change.
My new plan will be a high-deductible plan where we are responsible for out of pocket costs up to a certain amount. So, if my child has the same problem next year, my doctor visits could run $175 out of pocket per visit for a total of $875. I have no idea what the meds would cost, and that doesn't include a trip to the emergency room.
But this is supposed to be OK, because we have a medical spending account that covers these costs, right? Well, the doctor visits alone would eat up 35% of that account. Everyone is allowed only one illness per year before we run out of money.
So here's my point. Since health care costs are beginning to hit our wallets harder, we need to be more strategic about how we spend. No frivolous trips to the emergency room. Better questioning of doctors to avoid mistakes. Fewer follow up visits. More well visits. We will need to be more conscious of asking the right questions to get the right care and determining which illnesses need addressing, and which can wait it out so we can ration our health care dollars.