Thursday, September 16, 2010

getting my money's worth

I remember when I first began working full-time, I cringed at the amount automatically deducted each paycheck for health insurance. Even in my youth, I knew I was lucky to have a job that not only offered insurance, but paid a large percentage of the premiums. But, in those days of student loan repayments and entry-level salaries, my meager paycheck had to stretch much farther than it does now, so I guarded every penny. And I never went to the doctor for more than an annual check-up, so it felt like I was just throwing money away every month.

I added Brad to my insurance plan when we married because my policies provide better coverage at a cheaper cost than any of Brad's jobs have. But neither of us went to the doctor much, so I continued to watch my hard-earned paycheck dwindle--at double the rate this time.

A couple of weeks ago I received a nine-page statement from my insurance company detailing my medical claims during July and the first part of August. From July 1st through August 13th, my insurance company was billed $17,531.75 from 18 claims. That total does NOT include any fertility drugs or procedures. So, imagine how high the total would be had those drugs and procedures from earlier this year been included!

A quick glance at my paystub and a rapid mental calculation revealed that the $17,531.75 billed over only six weeks this summer by far exceeded the portion of the premiums I've paid for over ten years. Not that you want a reason to put your insurance to work, but rest assured that the longer you live, the more likely you are to get your money's worth out of it.

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