Got kids? Then you know, accidents can happen a lot! As a mother of three boys, an accident a day seemed to be the norm. However, not all accidents can be handled by a kiss, a band-aid and a pat on the back. Here are some ways that can make a big difference in whether you pay a little or pay a lot to get the proper medical care.
Emergency room versus Urgent Care
Emergency rooms are for life-threatening conditions. In this age of Covid crisis, one must be especially careful in going to an emergency room at a hospital. Of course, if you have a broken arm with the bone sticking out, you can’t breathe, or blood is gushing out, get to the closest emergency room immediately! All life- threatening emergencies are covered regardless if you went to an in-network or out-of-network hospital under your insurance plan.
Urgent care is used for non- life- threatening situations. You got careless with a knife and now need stitches; or little Tommy was playing football and has sprained an ankle. These are good reasons to go to urgent care. However, it is important to know if the urgent care facility is in- or out-of-network with your medical insurance carrier. If you go to an in-network Urgent Care Center, you may only be charged a co-pay. If you show up at a out-of-network urgent provider, you be may on the hook to pay the full cost of the visit or subject to an out-network deductible and 50% co-insurance. Your expense could be the difference between paying $60 or $200 plus.
Due to the Co-vid Crisis, the use of Telehealth has exploded. As one of the newer choices to access care, Telehealth got a slow start. However, it has proven to be a quick and cost-effective way to get quality care. Telehealth is for non-emergency issues, but can help with things like a minor treatment for a burn, chronic issues like diabetes management and even mental health consultations.
Most insurance carriers now have a Telehealth option with your plan. You can also buy a Telehealth policy directly. Telehealth costs can be no charge or a minimal co-payment for the services. You will speak with a board-certified MD whether by computer, phone or even text.
We have discussed methods to manage your expenses if you have an accident, from most expensive to least expensive: Emergency room, Urgent Care and Telehealth doctors. Knowing when to use these various options are a way to reduce your out of pocket expenses.
On the other hand, Accident Plans are a means to help reimburse you for the expenses associated from an accident. Accident Plans pay you cash. The money goes directly to the policy holder, it does not pay doctors or hospitals. Accident policies can pay you a lump sum amount or pay you by a schedule of benefits. Cash given to you helps pay down a deductible, reduces copayments and pays for other expenses pertaining the accident. Many accident plans also have a Wellness benefit and a life insurance policy if you die from an accident.
Accidents can cost as much as a kiss and a band-aid, or can land you several days in a hospital. It is important to understand how your insurance works in order to get the best results for you and your family. Know your options to make the best decisions in managing the health and expenses for your family.
With over 30 years in the insurance industry, this benefit geek is happy to help navigate and advise best choices for you, whether you are a business owner, a family member or for your own beautiful self.