Supplement for catastrophic group insurance

LN | September 18, 2008

Q: What I'd like to know is, is there a supplemental insurance that will help us pay for our doctors and lab work and prescriptions? My husbands place of employment is now only providing catastrophic insurance. We have to pay EVERYTHING up to $2,500 each per year before they'll kick into pay anything. It's just horrendous and it's killing us. I am supposed to have lab work done every 3 months, and see my doctor. He charges me $196 for his visit and the lab work is close to $100 so that's $300 every 3 months. We can't afford this and need help to pay it. Is there supplemental insurance that doesn't cost an arm and a leg per month that we can get to help us with this? We're paying $80 a week now for an insurance that won't help us unless we are in the hospital.

A: You are not alone. Many employers have already switched to health insurance policies that have a deductible of more than $5,000 and benefit experts predict this will be the norm within the next five years.  Over the long term a Health Savings Account is the best way to fund these expenses but supplemental coverage like Core Health Insurance has also become very popular specifically for this purpose. The cost is typically $250-$300 per month for the high level benefit option. This insurance covers a wide range of common medical expenses both in and out of the hospital.

Regardless of the insurance or method of covering these expenses, the unavoidable financial issue is that health care continues to be the fastest growing expenses for households, for employers and for the nation. A typical American family now spends almost $400 per month out-of-pocket for health care and that amount will continues to increase.

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