Small Premiums Big Results – If you remember

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How Will You Control Your Out Of Pocket Expenses?

Higher insurance deductibles! Higher co-insurance!! More out of pocket expense!!! What can a person do to control their out of pocket expense?

To be clear, first, a person is best served by having a good medical or Medicare health plan. In addition, some people purchase smaller policies to pay extra benefits for cancer, accidents or hospital room and board. These policies are mostly fairly inexpensive, but when needed can provide thousands of dollars of covered expenses.

For example, a gentleman in the Peoria area developed a cancerous condition. He had the initial diagnosis and pathology locally and then chose to go to Chicago for specialized treatment. After two surgeries, he came back home for chemo therapy and additional treatment.

In another case, a gentleman in his 80s was hospitalized and later nursing home confined for about 45 days. He then came home, but 10 days later fell and broke his hip, requiring another hospital stay and nursing home confinement. His health unfortunately declined from there with several more hospital stays and continuing nursing home stays.

In both cases these gentlemen had small policies to help with their and their families expenses. In the first case, he had a disability policy which had a small cancer rider (attached coverage)

In his case, this small benefit will pay for each day of his four hospital stays, his surgeries, anesthesiology and chemotherapy.

In the second case, this gentleman had a small plan that he had paid through electronic withdrawal for the past 15 years. He forgot he even had it. This policy pays for most any condition that would hospitalize a person, surgery and nursing home confinement.

As you can imagine, both families welcomed the benefits paid by these plans. The premiums were minimal; less than $20 a month for the second and the first was a $4 a month attachment to a disability policy.

Now the tougher part: in many cases, perhaps even most, people never realize they have benefits payable under these policies. Either they have forgotten they have these policies, don’t know what they will cover, or just do not know how to make claim. In both of the above cases, the patient and the family overlooked these benefits and would not have made claim had it not been brought to their attention. As a result of making claim, about $20,000 in benefits will be paid for the medical services for each of these gentlemen.

So – what to do? First, as mentioned earlier purchase and maintain a good medical/Medicare plan. Secondly review your coverage every other year or so. See if you can make changes that benefit you such as lower premiums or more coverage for the same premium. If you have or consider buying these smaller cancer, accident, or hospital room & board/medical policies; keep a list of the policies and coverage in front of the medical file you keep. (Yes – keep a medical file) If you have questions of whether or not benefits might be payable, call your agent (company if you do not have an agent). There are also companies in the Peoria area which can assist you in making claim. They charge a fee, but in most cases the fee is a great value compared to the insurance company benefits received and your peace of mind. As always, contact the office below if you have questions or for more information.

Written by

Steven A. Buttice is the president of Medical Reimbursement & Management Services, Inc., a firm specializing in issues affecting seniors, including seminars and consultation on Medicare Plans, Long Term Care and other types of insurance, claims issues, and sales/service of insurance products since 1984.

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