Unexpected expenses that come from receiving medical care can be a big headache, especially if you’re an independent worker with an irregular income. Even with health insurance, deductibles can be thousands of dollars. Remember, your health insurance doesn’t start paying for your costs until you’ve paid your deductible. For example, if you have a $2,500 deductible, you must pay $2,500 of your own medical costs before your health insurance company will start paying.
You may also be responsible for other costs (like co-insurance) up to an out-of-pocket maximum. In 2020, independent plans can have out-of-pocket maximums up to $8,200 for an individual or $16,400 for a family. That can really set you back if you’re unprepared.
Expecting the Unexpected
The average American family pays roughly $1,000 in out-of-pocket expenditures for medical care each year. While none of us can predict what our medical needs will be in the future, it can be helpful to take into account some costs that are very common.
Co-payments: Most health insurance plans have co-payments (or copays) that you’re responsible to pay if you visit a doctor or specialist. Exact costs vary by plan, so review your plan details. You may pay between $15-150 for a visit. Typically, visits to urgent care or specialists are most costly.
Prescription drugs: You may pay none, some, or all of the costs of a prescription. If you have medication you take regularly, you should be sure to check the costs with your 2021 health insurance plan.
Dental/vision care: If you need care beyond basic checkups or cleaning, you’re often responsible for paying for care even if you have dental and vision insurance. Also, remember that cosmetic services (like teeth whitening or lasik surgery) are almost never covered by insurance. One in three Americans pay out of pocket for dental and vision care each year.
Supplies, lab tests, home health: There are many other costs you may be responsible for covering. From a visit from a nurse at home to blood pressure machines or cholesterol tests, you might be paying up until you hit your out-of-pocket maximum.
Catch has launched a Health Expenses Account to make it easy to put a little aside for health costs. Each time you get paid, you can put some money away so that it’s there when you need it most.
They’ll anchor your withholding around the average American family costs of $1,000 per year. As with all of their savings benefits, you can adjust to save more or less of your paycheck. You may want to consider saving towards your deductible or out-of-pocket max if you expect to have moderate medical expenses next year.
Every time your linked bank picks up a deposit, they’ll remind you to approve your income. When you do, they’ll set aside for all of your plans, tax, time off, retirement, and now—health expenses.
It’s one less thing to have to think about. You’ll be ready to cover those copays and prescriptions without having to worry or use credit cards all the time. It’s one more pillar of your safety net to protect your future.
On Health Insurance
Finally, if you need an independent health insurance plan (i.e. you don’t qualify for one from an employer, spouse, or the military), Catch can help you find and enroll in the plan that makes the most sense for you and get you all of the subsidies and tax credits you qualify for. Their licensed agents aren’t paid with commission; their only incentive is to make sure you get the right plan—not the one that makes us the most money.
Get your plan before Open Enrollment closes on December 15th!