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A life-saving hospital visit could wreck your wallet

Think your insurance is good?

Odds are, it isn’t nearly as good as you think — because copays at the doctor’s office and pharmacist aren’t the only bills you could be hit with.

At any given moment, something could go wrong… and you could find yourself in the ER.

Once you’re back home, glad to be alive, you’ll want to thank the hospital and count your lucky stars… right up until the moment the bill arrives.

Instead of thanking the hospital, you’ll be using every four-letter word you know and maybe making up some new ones. And instead of counting your lucky stars, you’ll be counting what’s left in your bank account — assuming anything’s left at all!

It’s not hundreds of dollars anymore, which was bad enough.

Now, the average hospital bill — the portion YOU have to pay — has topped $1,000, rising 37 percent in just five years, according to a new analysis.

That’s with GOOD insurance, mind you.

If you’re stuck with a crummy Obamacare plan, your share of the bill could reach nearly $2,000!

The problem is they don’t just hit you up once. They double- and even TRIPLE-dip, with deductibles… and copays… and even co-insurance, where you have to kick in for a share of every fee beyond the usual deductibles and copays.

Sometimes, you just can’t win.

Even with “good” insurance, you’re one heart attack, stroke, or bad chicken dinner away from an ER trip that can knock all your years of careful financial planning off the tracks.

So do yourself a favor, and do these two things right now:

  1. Get out your policy and make sure you know what you’ll owe. Look for the deductibles, copays, and co-insurance for hospital care so you don’t get sticker shock if you ever have to use that part of your plan.

  2. Stash aside a little cash every now and then. Make a slush fund for your health — money to have handy so when you’re hit with a surprise bill, you’re not forced to decide between paying up and buying food.

And when that bill does come, don’t just write a check and mail it off.

Call the hospital’s billing office and ask for a manager. Keep calm and polite — no matter how ticked off you are by the surprise bill — because the guy on the other end of the line has the power to remove fees, cut the bill, and come up with an interest-free payment plan for what’s left.

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