Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Planning medical procedures to beat higher prices?

In an e-mail, a reader asked me if Gannett employees are scheduling surgery and other expensive procedures before the end of the year to beat higher annual deductibles kicking in under the new medical plan in effect starting Jan. 1.

That's what I'm doing. I've just been told the shoulder problem I wrote about last month requires surgery. Under my current health insurance plan, I have a $1,500 deductible, much of which I've already met for the year.

In 2014, I'm certain to move to a new plan with an annual deductible that will be three times higher.

If I get the surgery done before year's end, it will cost me only $540. But if I wait until January, it could cost me a net $4,500 depending on any other medical expenses during the year.

Please post your replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write jimhopkins[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the rail, upper right.


  1. Individuals on the existing HDHP would save a bunch by waiting for the new plan.

  2. I told my doctor what's coming under the new plan and she wrote be referrals for a battery of needed wellness testing to do by the end of the year. My prediction is if people can't get under the wire, they're going to put off big procedures, which will likely result in complications and ultimately highers costs to the company and insurer. The higher deductible and promise of "no co-pays" after you satisfy it is a sham, since I will pay that money upfront instead of making a more reasonable co-pay by the visit.


Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

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