Insurance Basics: Your Costs
A new way of getting healthcare is becoming common. Called telehealth or telemedicine, it lets people get healthcare without traveling. Telehealth uses electronic devices such as phones and computers to deliver healthcare services and clinical information across distances.
Skipping health insurance may seem like you’re saving money in the short run—especially if you’re young and healthy. But the cost of getting care without health insurance can be more than you expect. An unforeseen hospital stay, for example, can cost you tens of thousands of dollars.
Thanks to a law passed in the spring of 2020, most Americans can be tested for COVID-19 for free. But that law didn’t make treatment for the virus free. Medical services for COVID-19 can be costly and sometimes run into tens of thousands of dollars. Whether or not you’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19, you can take steps now to understand your protections under the law and manage the costs of your treatment.
Health insurance protects you from paying the full cost of your care. But, you will likely still have to pay some money out of your pocket. Almost all plans call for “cost sharing”. That means your insurer pays for part of your care, and you pay for part.
A disability is a health issue that limits what you can do. There are public and private sources of benefits for children, adults and veterans with disabilities, and their caregivers.
Healthy lifestyle behaviors include regular exercise and nutritious eating. Are you looking to carry out such behaviors but unsure how to start? If so, you may want to explore the wellness programs offered by your employer or health insurance plan.
Your plan may have different rules and costs for different healthcare settings. In any setting, you may have to pay a copay, and in some cases, coinsurance. But, these may be waived for preventive services like flu shots and mammograms.
Flexible spending plans let you set aside money from your paycheck. You can use it to pay for care before meeting your deductible, and for copays and coinsurance afterward.
Your health insurance ID card is your proof of insurance. You use it when you visit the doctor, hospital or other provider.
Your plan may contract with doctors, dentists and other healthcare practitioners; hospitals; labs; radiology facilities; pharmacies and other types of providers. These are the providers in your “network”.
Preventive services, such as vaccines and screenings, can help you avoid certain diseases and catch others in their early stages, to limit the harm they can cause.
Since providers are able to decide how much to charge for out-of-network care, sometimes that charge might be higher than you expected.
For many health services, you have time to plan and shop around. If you’re getting the service in a hospital or health system, you may be able to check the price ahead of time at different facilities. You can also use the Shoppable Services tool on this website to learn the average price for the service in your area and surrounding areas.
If you´ve been diagnosed with a chronic condition, this article will give you some guidelines to help manage your care and costs. In it you will learn how you can get help to:
To look up the estimated costs for behavioral health services (including mental health and alcohol and/or drug services), go to our home page, fairhealthconsumer.org, and click on Medical and Hospital Costs.
Are you caring long-term for a sick or disabled family member or friend? If so, you may sometimes feel alone and overwhelmed. Luckily, there are resources to help you.
Receiving care from a provider in your health plan´s network usually costs you much less than going to an out-of-network provider.
Most health plans have a “network”, a group of doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers who agree to take your insurer´s rate.
If you have an ongoing illness or need a complicated procedure, it’s a good idea to get an FH Total Treatment Cost estimate.
If you or someone close to you has opioid use disorder, also called opioid addiction, you aren’t
alone. The United States is in the middle of an opioid crisis. Find out about how you can afford treatment—no matter
what your income level is—and about resources for support.
If you’re planning a trip, the last thing you may want to think of is healthcare. But accidents and
illnesses can happen on the road as well as at home. Here are the basics on using health insurance while
Acupuncture, chiropractic care and massage therapy have one thing in common: They may not be covered by insurance. That’s because they may be looked at as alternative treatments, not part of conventional medical care.
Are you planning a medical procedure that requires an overnight hospital stay? Do you want an idea of how much the stay will cost in your area?
Sometimes you know ahead of time that a major event will happen in your life. Examples might include getting married or divorced, changing jobs or having a baby. Other times, such as at a death, you may not have advance warning.
If you’re 65 or older, figuring out how Medicare works and when to sign up can be challenging. It can be hard to know what kind of coverage you’ll need. There are Part A, Part B, Part D, Medicare Advantage plans (Part C) and Medigap. There also are other complex terms to know. This article will cover the basics of what you need to know about Medicare.
If your bill was larger than expected, you can use your cost estimate to negotiate with your doctor.
If you visit a doctor who doesn´t take your plan, you can use your cost estimate to negotiate the price.