Insights + Resources

Cost of Medical Care

Aug 14, 2020

Choosing Medical Care Options
The expense of insuring yourself may be minor compared to the price of surgeries and procedures.

When uninsured people end up in the hospital, “sticker shock” can follow. Just a quick look at the current prices for medical care procedures can be sobering.

How much does a CT scan cost? Between $250 to $1,500, depending on where it is performed. Need a stent in your heart? The average cost of that delicate procedure is now close to $20,000. How about a knee replacement? That surgery may run anywhere from $15,000 to $35,000.1,2

Are these the only medical cost associated with a hospital or outpatient visit? Not quite. Think of the cost of the room, the medications, the anesthesia. Fortunately, many Americans have health coverage, so they only have to pay a fraction of the expenses linked to these and other procedures. Those without health coverage may find themselves in financial pain.

These days, you may take a big financial risk if you go without health insurance. Just one accident or one surprise trip to the hospital, and you may be left with a debt rivaling an auto loan.

If you need to pay for your own health coverage, the cost may be well worth it. Imagining that you can go without it for the next five or ten years may not be realistic, even if you are a millennial or a member of Generation Z just leaving college. You might have a five-figure debt already; could you handle another one, perhaps, with little or no warning?

Just how much does it cost to self-insure? Well, here is one estimate. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), a hypothetical 40-year-old non-smoker making $30,000 per year is projected to pay an average of $492 per month for a benchmark health insurance plan for 2020. That works out to $5,904 for a year. The KFF reports, though, that the monthly cost could fall to as little as $199 with the help of a premium subsidy via federal or state government. This year, the mean monthly cost of a Silver plan after a premium subsidy is $207.3

Here is another projection. Looking at the 38 states in which residents buy coverage through Healthcare.gov, Investopedia calculates the average monthly cost of a benchmark plan at $413 for a hypothetical healthy 27-year-old, a price which could be lowered once subsidies are applied.4

You can choose to put off paying a few thousand dollars a year for health insurance, but in doing so, you are also choosing to assume a great financial risk. A major medical care procedure can cost as much as a new car or college education.

Keep in mind that this article is for informational purposes only. It’s not a replacement for real-life advice, so make sure to consult your financial or health care professional before modifying your insurance strategy.

If you are uninsured, take some time to look at your choices with someone who knows the insurance market. Do it today, as you never know what tomorrow could bring.

Tags: , ,

More Insights

Dec 2, 2020

As Wall Street pushes higher, a pandemic-weary Main Street is relearning how to manage cash flow with the hope of keeping its retirement dreams alive – and for those self-employed, this is paramount.

Nov 30, 2020

When you marry or simply share a household with someone, your financial life changes—and your approach to managing your money may change as well. The good news is that it is usually not so difficult.

Nov 27, 2020

Are prescription drug costs burdening your finances? Some people find it a challenge to manage the cost of prescription drugs. Americans pay an average of $1,200 per year for medicine. For those facing greater and more dangerous ailments, some drug costs are $10,000 per month or even lump sums in excess of $80,000 for certain … Continue reading “Managing Drug Costs”

Nov 23, 2020

As the United States sees a rise in cases of COVID-19 across the nation, news of two promising vaccines out of hundreds being tested has offered a ray of hope for a fatigued world.1

Nov 20, 2020

With the Federal Reserve keeping interest rates at or near zero, you may wonder about your mortgage. Is it a good time to refinance or even pay off the debt entirely? After all, your mortgage is one of the biggest expenses you may have in life, so why not rid yourself of that debt as … Continue reading “Interest Rates and Your Mortgage”

Insights + Resources >