Three reasons reduced Call to Health deductibles are important

August 11, 2021

Medical expenses can add up quickly, even for people with medical coverage, which means if you haven’t yet met your annual deductible and need certain types of healthcare, you could receive a bill for hundreds of dollars. By answering the Call to Health, you can significantly reduce your medical deductibles for 2022. ​

​How easily could you pay an unexpected medical bill of $660 or more? If you were injured and rushed to the emergency room or got sick and needed to be admitted to the hospital, you must first pay an annual deductible before the Medical Plan would begin to pay benefits. Even if such an expense wouldn't break your budget, you'd probably like to lower the cost if you could. By participating in Call to Health* you can, because when you answer the call by November 12, you'll save 25 to 33.3 percent on your medical deductibles for 2022.

If you haven't yet answered the call, or you aren't sure whether it's worth the time and effort, consider these three reasons why a reduced deductible is so important.

  1. Unexpected medical expenses. While recommended preventive care is covered in full (you pay $0 when you use network providers), many other covered medical services, such as emergency room care, outpatient hospital services, surgery, and hospital admissions, require you to pay an annual deductible before the plan begins to pay benefits. And these costs can add up quickly. For example, the average cost of an emergency room visit in 2017 was $1,389 according to a Health Care Cost Institute study. That doesn't include follow-up care or related services from doctors who bill for their services separately from the hospital.

  2. Substantial savings. When you complete Call to Health Level 1 by November 12, your individual and/or family medical deductibles will be reduced by as much as one-third for 2022. The potential savings are substantial: $220 or more if you're in the PPO, at least $500 if you're in the EPO, and at least $750 if you're in the HDHP. That means more money in your pocket if you or your covered spouse or child is sick or injured.

  3. Health and wholeness. In addition to the opportunity to save on your medical deductibles next year, Call to Health features a wide range of activities to help you develop and maintain healthy habits in the four areas of wholeness: spiritual, health, financial, and vocational. When these key areas of our lives are in balance, we are better able to serve others and our communities.

What is a deductible?

A deductible is a specified dollar amount you pay each year for certain covered services before the Medical Plan begins to pay benefits. If you have medical coverage through the Board of Pensions, your deductible amount varies depending on which option you're enrolled in and whether you enroll any family members. The deductible for PPO participants, for example, is based on effective salary, while those enrolled in the EPO or HDHP pay a set amount.

​If offered by your employer, tax-advantaged accounts, such as a healthcare flexible spending account (FSA) or a health savings account (HSA), can be used to help offset your deductible and other eligible healthcare expenses you pay out of pocket.

Out-of-pocket maximum protects you

When it comes to unexpected bills, it's also good to know that the Medical Plan places a cap on the amount of money you could have to pay out of your pocket for covered healthcare services in a plan year. This cap is referred to as the total maximum out-of-pocket amount, which is the most you will pay in a year in the form of network deductibles, coinsurance, and any copays for medical services and prescription drugs. When the amount you pay for covered expenses reaches the total maximum out-of-pocket amount the plan will pay 100 percent of allowable costs for the rest of the year. Under all medical options (PPO, EPO, and HDHP), the annual total maximum out-of-pocket amount is $5,000 if you have Member-only coverage and $10,000 if you enroll any eligible family members.

​Learn what some other common Medical Plan terms mean while you earn Call to Health points. Log on to the Call to Health website and complete the Understanding Medical Plan Terms video challenge to earn 20 points.

Save on 2022 medical deductibles

Prepare for the unexpected and take advantage of this opportunity to save on your deductible next year while you work toward being your best in all ways. There's still plenty of time before Call to Health ends November 12, 2021. Get started today.

*Call to Health is available to employees and their spouses with medical coverage through the Board of Pensions; it is not available to members enrolled in Triple-S, GeoBlue, or the Medicare Supplement Plan.