One important thing to consider is whether your medical bill(s) stem from an auto accident or work accident. If your bills are related to an auto accident, your medical care is covered by the auto insurance company like GEICO, Allstate, or Amica. If you were injured in a work-related accident, your medical bills are covered by your state’s Worker’s Compensation Program. Your employer pays money into the state WC fund so that you’re covered if you get hurt. This is important to note, because your employer- based health insurance will not want to pay if treatment is covered by another program.
Insurance companies do not pay 100% of your medical bills. You will still be responsible for an amount often referred to as the “patient responsibility.” There are three types of patient responsibilities and they are called deductibles, copays, and coinsurance. Before I explain the difference, I want you to know why they exist. Studies have shown that when patients cost-share, they are likely to use less medical care. For example, patients who share the cost of their medical bills by paying 30% of their total medical bills use fewer medical services and go to the physician less than those patients that pay 20% of their medical bills. People who don’t have to share the costs use the most medical care and go to the physician very frequently. Commonsense, right? If laundry detergent is more expensive, you’re going to use slightly less per load and try to stretch your money further. If laundry detergent is free, you’ll use much more, because there is no reason not to.
Deductible: This is a fat amount that you pay for medical care before insurance kicks in. Deductibles have been increasing signifcantly the past few years as insurance companies and employers try to shift more medical costs to employees. Whereas deductibles used to be $250-$500, they are now