Top takeaway: changing your mindset that your healthcare coverage benefits are NOT FREE, can help you make wiser decisions when it comes to benefits vs. cost of healthcare coverage.
Mindset is everything.
When it comes to health insurance coverage versus cost, this couldn’t be more true.
When it comes to our health care coverage, many of us run the risk of making decisions based on the “free” coverage items that the plan offers us. Whether that is little to no copays, free wellness checks, or prescriptions, we give these things a lot of weight when selecting and comparing plans. On the other hand, we are not often concerned about what a provider is billing to our insurance company, especially if they are going to pay it in full, because we naturally assume that if the insurance company is paying for it, then it is free for us.
But what if I told you that none of it was actually free? That we should care what the hospitals or providers are billing to insurance, and what they are paying.
The main reason we should care is because the value that the insurance company is paying to providers, will drive up your insurance premiums. And this is what you are paying for monthly.
The fact of the matter is; nothing is free. I always joke (with some truth and seriousness), that “nothing is free”; you ARE paying for it somewhere, and more often than not, you’re paying for it in the premium.
An example of this is when it comes to your wellness. Wellness is not free, although you may think it is. It’s worked into your premium. I had a gentleman once that was on a Cobra plan, and his wife didn’t want to get on a Marketplace plan because she wanted to keep their PPO. They were paying for a family of four, about $2,200 a month for insurance. Her prescriptions were free with this plan. I had given them a quote for Blue Cross Blue Shield, an HMO, and their prescriptions were going to be around $10. She did not want to move plans because her mindset was “I don’t want to pay $10 when I could get my prescriptions for free”. And I told them, what if you see it in the way that “your prescriptions are not free, your prescriptions are $2,200 a month”? They had never thought of it that way. The premium on the new plan was going to be around $800. When all is factored in, it makes a lot more sense cost-wise to take the cheaper premium and pay your $10 prescriptions. All that was needed here was a mindset shift and a careful look at the details.
All in all, the tip you can take away today, is to be sure to have the mindset of “nothing is free, I’m paying for this with my premium (at least),”. With this mindset, healthcare costing decisions will hopefully become clearer and simpler.
If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to reach out to me.