Traverse City Record-Eagle

Latest News - Mobile

October 2, 2013

Will consumers save on health care, too?

TRAVERSE CITY -- The basics apply when consumers attempt to determine whether they can save money when using tools to shop for health care.

A deductible: The amount one pays for health care services before health insurance kicks in. A person with a $5,000 deductible, for example, must pay 100 percent of his or her health care bills (at prices negotiated by the insurer) until the person "meets" the $5,000 level. After that, the insurance company might pay 100 percent for some services, or may require the person to pay "coinsurance."

Coinsurance: That's the share of the costs of a health care service after one reaches his or her deductible. Here's an example: A person has a $1,500 deductible and 20 percent coinsurance. For a $2,000 medical bill, the person would apply $1,500 toward their deductible. They've met their deductible with a $500 balance. The person would be expected to pay 20 percent of that or $100.

Copay: This is a fixed dollar amount paid for a health care service, usually when a person receives the service. The amount varies by the type of service such as a $30 copay for a doctor's appointment. A prescription copay also might be in play. Copays normally don’t count toward a deductible.

Saving money on medical bills has different bottom line results because it varies with deductibles and coinsurance.

Assume a patient has the option to pay $700 for an MRI with Facility A or $2,000 for an MRI with Facility B. Here are their potential cost savings:

Case 1: Patient has a $1,500 deductible with 20% coinsurance.

Option A: Pay $700

Option B: Pay $1,500 + $100 (coinsurance) = $1,600

Savings: $900

Case 2: Patient has a $5,000 deductible with 20% coinsurance

Option A: Pay $700

Option B: Pay $2,000

Savings: $1,300

Case 3: Patient has a $1,250 deductible with 20% coinsurance

Option A: Pay $700

Option B: Pay $1,250 + $150 (coinsurance) = $1,400

Savings: $700

1
Text Only

Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Rory McIlroy struggles, surges, wins British Open NOW TRENDING: Real life Pac-Man Explosions as hot air balloon crashes in Clinton DUI Driver Dragged to Safety by Officer After Walking Onto Busy Freeway Celebrities That We'd Like to Send to the Moon Spectacular lightning storm hits London Malaysian Flight Victim Was South Florida Grad Rory McIlroy on pace to break British Open records Officials Fear MH17 Site Now Tampered by Rebels Lowes employees repair Vietnam vet's wheelchair Widow of Staten Island man who died after NYPD takedown says he was unjustifiably targeted