HSA for America

How to Buffer Your High Deductible

Reduce it to Only $100 for an Accident


April 2, 2009
Vol. 5, Issue 3

Lab tests are expensive, and can often cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars out of your pocket, until you reach your deductible.  But if you are a smart consumer, you will opt-out of the expensive retail pricing on lab tests, and go straight to the labs for direct wholesale pricing.  Here's how to do that.

Where Do Your Medical Expenses Happen?

When’s the last time you were hospitalized for pneumonia?  How about the last time you had a hip replacement, gallbladder removal, or other surgery?  If you’re like most people, you’re relatively healthy, and really aren’t in the hospital very often.  Which is why a low-cost, high-deductible health insurance plan can save you so much money over time.

But how about the last time you or a family member needed stitches, or got food poisoning, or sprained an ankle, or suffered an athletic injury?  For most people, having an accident is a much more likely prospect than getting very sick.  And emergency room charges, if you haven’t noticed, are out of this world.  A fluke accident can quickly cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Discounts on Lab Tests

Most of our members add a supplemental accident plan to go along with their high deductible health insurance plan.  These accident plans have a $100 deductible, and then cover 100% up to $5000 or $10,000.  In most cases this will be enough to entirely cover your health insurance deductible.  So if you carry a 100% plan, your exposure is only $100 for any accident.

If you have coverage with us, at some point you may have communicated with Yvonne Harrison, our Operations Manager.  Yvonne carries a high-deductible HSA plan, and had finally gotten around to signing up for an accident plan for her family.  Unfortunately, just a little too late.  Here’s her story:

“It was just another Sunday, not much to do, just shopping, errands and a birthday party for our 8 year old son Joshua's friend.  Not the kind of day when you would expect anything to happen, but have you ever had a day where you expected something to happen?

First up - shopping, we despise doing this, so we get it out of the way.  We then made a quick run to the bank and the post office.  Finally, we drop off Joshua at the birthday party.  The party is just around the corner from our house, so we walk him there.  Day over - all we have left to do is to pick up Joshua in a couple of hours - time to relax, right?

Wrong!  Two hours later we are at Urgent Care getting Joshua's wrist and arm x-rayed.  You see while Joshua was at the party running and playing with his friends he decided, like most kids do, that he was unbreakable, like all the super hero's he loves to imitate.  A quick run up a ladder and jump off the platform amounted to two fractures in his left arm.”

Joshua Harrison and his $2,500 cast

Yvonne’s accident coverage was set to go in force 2 days later.  That 2 days cost her $2500, including x-rays, urgent care, rehab, and medication.

How to Sign Up

My own son is six, and he is watched pretty closely most of the time.  But he is 100% boy, he snow skis, he likes to climb trees, build forts, and wrestle.  While I hope that he never gets hurt, I’ll be surprised if the next few years don’t find us in the emergency room at least once or twice.

And in a few years I’m sure I’ll be struggling to keep up with him on the slopes, so I’m certainly not immune to injuries either.  Not to mention my veterinarian wife, who is bound to get bit by a dog one of these days.  So these are some of the reasons I have carried an accident plan on my family for years.

The premiums on these plans are low – only $22/month for an individual $5000 plan, $35/month for a family plan.  For a $10,000 benefit, the premiums are $34/month for individuals and $47/month for families.  You can get more details and sign up online on our Accident Plans page.

HSA Contribution Deadline

One more thing I wanted to mention this month – the deadline for making a 2008 contribution to your HSA is April 15th.  Any money you deposit in your HSA is tax deductible, and can be withdrawn tax-free to cover dental expenses, eye glasses, medications, and virtually any other medical expenses you incur.  If you don’t withdraw the money it grows tax-free like an IRA, so it is a great way to start rebuilding your retirement savings.

If you have not yet established an HSA, you can find a list of banks and administrators by clicking the HSA Admins link on the HSA for America website.

Changes are coming to the way healthcare is handled in this country.  If you like the freedom to choose your own provider and make your own decisions about how you will treat yourself, then make sure your voice is heard.


To your health and wealth!

Wiley Long
President - HSA for America

P.S.  Next month, I’ll share with you some of the latest research on diet and health, including how diet may affect autoimmune diseases.


HSA for America
749 S. Lemay Ave, Suite A3-116
Fort Collins, CO 80524
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