How to reduce the financial consequences of health care costs

Two years ago, Qing’s uncle suffered a stroke that paralyzed the left side of his body. He was taken to hospital by ambulance, where he received medication to kill the clots and spent several weeks in the intensive care unit. Then, after a month of rehabilitation, he finally regained his use of his arm and leg. His family was reassured that he had recovered without long-term disability; however, the process left them with a pile of medical bills that are still being paid today.

While we may not be able to predict when something like stroke will happen, we can plan and prepare for regular expenses and unforeseen medical expenses so that our finances are not completely disrupted.

Find out about your insurance

We have previously talked about evaluating medical insurance and choosing between different plans. We want to reiterate the importance of understanding your insurance, including which providers and facilities are online and offline, which services are fully, partially or partially covered, and how much you are responsible for the cost of care. Insurance companies must provide a summary of benefits and coverage in plain language, through the network members’ portal, through the human resources office (if you have employer-sponsored plans) or by calling your insurance card number. . When you see a new provider or schedule a procedure, call your insurance provider in advance to get a cost estimate and check the additional steps required (e.g., pre-authorization) to ensure coverage. Knowing your insurance will eliminate any surprises and keep a large part of the care process under your control.

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