I couldn’t help thinking about the “Oh my nose!” episode when Marcia breaks her nose before her big date with Doug when I was reading George Papagelis’ blog post titled “How the Brady Bunch Got Me Thinking about Private Exchanges.” No--I did not have a troubled childhood—but I can tell you from my own family, accidents happen.
Not too long ago, a broken nose would have been a trip to the emergency room with a small co-pay and a few “co-pay” follow up visits. Not too bad! Today however, the numbers are changing dramatically. My son’s last soccer incident (a broken finger) resulted in an out–of-pocket expense of over $1,900. That was my out-of-pocket expense before my insurance paid any benefit! Believe me; I was not prepared for that amount.
This is the new reality of healthcare—that employee exposure will continue to increase and they will be more responsible than ever in managing cost through smart healthcare choices. But let’s face it, some events are unexpected and require immediate action with little thought about where or when to get treatment. Luckily my employer (OneDigital) offers an “Integrated Benefits” package inclusive of options that allow me to pick and choose programs based on my own individual needs.
Integrated Benefits offer a unique approach to covering the gaps in personal insurance risk and are a natural complement to my benefits package. These plan choices can include Accident, Critical Illness, Cancer, Disability and Life Insurance as well as plans like Identity Theft, Legal plans and Pet Insurance (believe it or not, the latter is becoming one of the most asked about plans).
Fortunately, I chose to enroll in a supplemental Accident plan that covered a large portion of my expense for my son’s broken finger. The plan provided benefits for the initial treatment, fracture, follow-up visits and the physical therapy. I am also enrolled in the Critical Illness and Permanent Life plans, as the convenience of payroll deduction and a simple application process made it an easy decision for me.
While I’ve learned how to cover my risk through Integrated Benefits, there are undoubtedly many individuals who don’t. Unfortunately, it may not be until that moment when their child screams, “Oh my nose!” that they have occasion to really understand how much an Integrated Benefits option can ease their pain.