The following is a staff writer post from MikeS. He is a married father of 2. So, with the cat, he ranks number 5 in the house. He loves numbers and helping people. Please leave any questions or comments below for either Mike or Crystal.
Since open-enrollments may be around the corner for most folks, I thought I should write an update on how my year has been going with my HSA.
A quick refresher on the choices I made for my medical insurance this year…I opted to continue with my HSA-eligible plan, but opted for the highest deductible. The plan had two main components for me to be concerned about, a deductible and out-of-pocket maximums. The deductible is $7,000 and means that I cover all expenses (both doctor visits and prescriptions) until the deductible is met. The second, the out-of-pocket maximum, has an individual level, $6,450 and a family cap of $12,900. Overall, I had calculated that I was better off financially, so long as my claims did not go much above the $6,000 range. So, how am I doing?
As always, the little guy is leading the pack with medical expenses. For those not familiar with his history, he required an emergency heart procedure just two days after he was born. Since then, it has just been keeping an eye on things to make sure his condition hasn’t deteriorated.
Thus, his annual check-up with his cardiologist usually leads the way. The cost for his echocardiogram, EKG, and doctor totaled just under $2,000 this year. I was actually a little surprised by this number. I had anticipated more along the lines of $2,500 which is about what we had paid last year. I certainly won’t complain and am happy to pay $500 less. Thankfully, that has been it for the little guy. He has had the occasional cold here and there, but nothing serious enough to require a doctor’s visit.
Coming in a close second on the list has been my daughter. She had an ear infection early in the year. That by itself wasn’t bad, but it led to some lingering fluid in her ear. What my wife and I learned is that the fluid build-up can remain for a few weeks. We didn’t know that at the time and felt like she was having difficulty hearing, so we got her hearing tested. The initial testing and the follow-up ended up costing us just over $900.
The next biggest expenditure for her has been a new prescription. So far, we have just been filling it monthly until we find the right dosage. The way my plan works is that prescriptions are cheaper if you fill them through the mail for 3-months at a time. Once we find the correct dosage, the prescription won’t be too bad. Until that time, the cost is about $135 every time we fill it. So, far we’ve spent just over $400 for 3 months. Once we can order it through the mail, the cost will be only about $400 for the year.
The wife and I have had no major issues this year. Unlike in years past, where I’ve either had a root canal or broke my ankle, my health has been pretty good this year. My wife has had no major issues as well. Fingers are crossed that this continues for the rest of this year and beyond.
All in all, the year has gone about how I was expecting. Assuming no major issues between now and the end of the year, we should finish under the $6,000 making choosing this plan the right financial choice. Final expenditures should be right in line with what they were in 2014. I essentially took a chance that we as a family wouldn’t have any major medical expenses this year. I will probably take that gamble again next year. My hope is that when the bad year inevitably strikes, that the HSA balance will be high enough to cover it all.
How are you budgeting for your future medical bills?