Friday, November 12, 2010

Cost of Care

As I'm starting the process for my weight loss surgery, it's obvious how quickly the cost of everything is going to add up! I'm looking at my insurance website to date. Thank goodness for a wonderful insurance plan! Even the copays I have now will be the death of me around the holidays - I can't begin to imagine what I'd do without great coverage.

9/30 - first appointment with surgeon (my share) $15 / (insurance payment) $236

10/6 - X-rays and labs (me) $23 / (insurance) $204

10/6 - X-rays and labs (me) $19 / (insurance) $175

10/6 - X-rays and labs (me) $2 / (insurance) $18

10/7 - Hospital incidentals ?? (me) $20 / (insurance) $184

10/8 - Physical therapist (me) $32 / (insurance) $285 (SERIOUSLY????)

10/14 - Sleep doctor, first appt (me) $15 / (insurance) $355

10/15 - Overnight sleep study (me) $142 / (insurance) $1279

10/20 - Lab (me) $2 / (insurance) $17

10/25 - Sleep doctor, second appt (me) $15 / (insurance) $123

10/27 - Overnight sleep study (me) $155 / (insurance) $1398

10/28 - General practictioner (me) $15 / (insurance) $75

10/28 - Surgeon, second appointment (me) $15 / (insurance) $71

11/3 - CPAP set-up appt at home (me) $15 / (insurance) $62

You can see this is going to get very expensive, very quickly. Thus far, my actual out of pocket costs are $500, and my insurance has paid $4482. Gulp. You know what's missing here? The appointments for my iron infusions. They have not been submitted to my insurance yet, so I don't know what the cost will be.

For next year, I set aside $5,000 in my flexible spending account. This is money that I have immediate access to at the beginning of the year. It is tax-free and can be used to pay medical expenses. If I don't use it by the end of the year, I lose it. With three kids, and this surgery planned - well, I'll use it. But if I don't have the surgery?? I may be in a bit of trouble. Next year, you can no longer use your flexible spending account for over the counter medications! This has been the saving grace of "leftover" money at the end of the year: just go buy a bunch of Tylenol. No more! Although, truth be told, I haven't had leftover money at the end of the year in any year since I've been using the FSA.

The biggest appeal to me with the FSA is that I have full access to the $5K at the beginning of the year. It is then taken in equal installments from my paychecks throughout the whole year. For people like me who suck at money management, it's a good way to be able to cover expenses up front.

No comments:

Post a Comment