It’s January, the month of “Deductible Renewals” for most of you.

The term deductible means that any medical bills starting 01/01/2016 will not be paid by your insurance company until that deductible has been met.

The amount of your deductible is set at the time you purchase your policy, and each person’s deductible is unique to his/her particular contract/coverage.

How does this affect you?

Example: If you have a $3000 deductible and you have medical visits scheduled ranging from $150-$300/visit, the medical facility will bill your insurance. Your insurance will apply those bills towards the $3000 deductible. The medical facilities and or hospital will send you the outstanding balance which will be your sole responsibility to pay. If it is not paid within a reasonable period of time, it will be transferred to a collection agency which in turn will report it to the credit bureaus.

After the Deductible has been met, then the insurance will start paying 80-100% of the bill based on your plan, so you might be responsible for up to 20% of the bill.

All these details should be explained to you by the insurance agent where you purchased your policy from.

What happens in a real-time scenario?

Not all medical facilities will be transparent and or take their time to explain to you in detail about your benefits.

You sign in at the front desk, pay your co-pay, and assume that all will be covered.

Several months later you receive a large bill and get caught by surprise, and may be unable to pay for it.

Tips to avoid surprises:

  1. Call your insurance and review your policy right away in January.
  2. Before you go for a medical appointment ask what that will cost you in the case that your insurance will not pay for it.
  3. Consider purchasing an Aflac Policy to cover the deductible.

Wishing you a happy 2016, full of health and no bad experiences with your insurance policy!

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