I have a high deductable healthcare plan (HDHP) provided to me by my employer. The deductable is $2,500; this is offset by my generous employer because they give that to us in our health savings account. Health savings accounts (HSA) are like flexible spending accounts, except that I get to keep the money from year to year and even invest it if the balance were to increase.
With these HDHPs the consumer is often responsible for paying the bills. For my plan, as long as the healthcare provider is in network, I get a discount on their services; the rest is up to me to pay for. Therefore, it is in my best interest to stay healthy to avoid unnecessary medical care.
Years ago I was overweight and had high blood pressure that had to be controlled by medication. My doctor wanted to see me twice a year to check up on my health, since I was so young to have these kinds of health complications. Those visits added up and my HSA balance kept on getting lower and lower.
Two years ago I made some major lifestyle changes and lost 60 pounds; after that my doctor informed me that I could stay off the blood pressure medication, but I still needed to see him twice a year to gauge my health.
A few weeks ago I had my semi-yearly doctor’s checkup; my blood pressure was still down, and my health was even more improved. My doctor said that I now only have to see him once a year.
By becoming healthy, I have cut out two expenses: blood pressure medications and one trip to the doctor’s office a year. Over time this will have a beneficial effect on my HSA, but an even greater effect on my life as a whole.