As I write this, I am still trying to wrap my head around the actual good news Papa received from work regarding benefits. Since our family has medical issues, this is a pretty amazing way to start our 2018.....which hopefully means next year will be much kinder to us that its two predecessors.
Anyway, I think everyone knows already, but, Papa works for a very well known hospital here in Connecticut. It happens to be where my MS doctor is, G2 had her appendix removed in their children's hospital, G1 had her anorexia addressed, I had my ovarian polyp removed, etc. My point is that even before Papa worked here, it was our first choice with health issues and this is VERY IMPORTANT moving into next year.
Well, the hospital has reconfigured their insurance. As in the past, we will stay at the most expensive tier/option of the plan. My disease is too unpredictable not to do this. However, the benefits we will receive will be better too.
While I don't have ALL the information yet because I was in a state of shock, Papa did tell me some of the highlights that were most important to us.....
Basically, the hospital wants employees and their families to receive care from doctors/hospitals in their direct network - meaning doctors using their billing system and any sister hospital that the main campus owns. We are already ahead of the game since we (mostly) do this anyway.
By doing this, we will receive some perks...
1. All preventative care (ie yearly checkups) are 100% free - same as last year but worth noting anyway.
2. Any other doctor visits (ie illness related) are a flat copay only as long as you use one of "their" doctors. This is enormous for us since before, when someone got sick, we had our copay and a decent portion of the bill until we reached a certain deductible.
As an example, G1 went to the doctor this year as a "sick" visit. After paying the $40 copay, I was another $250 plus dollars out of pocket for lab work!
Like I said, this will be a big deal moving forward.
3. One of Papa's prescriptions will be completely free - saving us $120/year!
4. We were concerned about what was going to happen with G1 since she isn't registered in college (yet! another story for another day). Papa got clarification that, with the new plan, she can stay on our insurance regardless of college enrollment until age 26. This includes vision and dental!
5. Speaking of vision, for about $25/year more than we pay now, we can have an increased allowance for glasses/contacts. Currently, we get $95/per year/per person. That extra $25 will bump us up to a $250/per year/per person allowance. That's music to my ears as I am blind as a bat! LOL
6. Papa has been putting off getting gall bladder surgery - partially because he has been so busy at work and partially because of the cost in copays. Well, he researched what it will cost us out of pocket on the new plan.....$400 total! That's it!
7. My yearly MRIs will now have a flat copay of $100! Last year, my portion was over $500! Now, I have been spoiled and used a facility close to home (like a five minute walk from my house!) for the past two MRI's. However, I have zero problems with driving into New Haven to do this moving forward....especially since I used to get my MRIs done there anyway.
So, as of right now, these are the main highlights. I neglected to ask Papa how much (if at all) insurance was increasing. However, knowing Papa, if it was a large change from what we are paying currently, he would have mentioned it!
Sorry for the boring post, but I cannot even begin to explain the relief I am feeling right now about insurance!
Happy Hump Day!