New Year, New Deductible – Why NOW Is The Right Time to Schedule Your Medical Imaging

January 14, 2019 – 3 min read

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At the beginning of the calendar, most medical insurances reset on the deductible you are responsible for toward your medical expenses. At the beginning of the year, it is important that you understand how your insurance works and what you are responsible for. Aspects that you should understand include deductibles and your maximum out-of-pocket expenses.

It is a wise idea to use high-ticket medical expenses such as medical imaging at the beginning of the year to get your deductible out of the way in one fell swoop so that you can rest soundly knowing that the rest of the year, whatever happens, you will be covered for qualified medical expenses. Taking initiative to schedule appointments that help meet your deductible early on in the year allow you to plan out your expenses better and be prepared for unexpected or emergency events.


Meet Deductibles and Out-Of-Pocket Maximums

Most medical insurances have both a mandatory deductible and an out-of-pocket maximum. A deductible is a pre-set dollar amount that your medical insurance plan says that you are responsible for. Your deductible can range anywhere from $0 to $10,000, depending on what you have selected for your options. For any medical expenses, you will be responsible for meeting the annual deductible before your insurance will pay anything toward a medical bill or expense. Once the deductible is met, your insurance will then pick up as described in your policy. Usually, the amount that they pay is a percentage if you have co-pays or the total amount if you have met your payment obligation.

Out-of-pocket maximums differ from deductibles because it is the set amount that your medical insurance provider requires that you pay before they pay 100 percent of your medical bills. This is important to understand if your insurance plan includes co-pays. If you pay a set amount for your appointments or medications, these amounts all apply toward your out-of-pocket maximum. Once that maximum is reached, your insurance will pay 100 percent of your qualifying medical expenses.

For example, if your insurance requires a $500 deductible and a $2,000 out-of-pocket maximum, once you spend the $2,000 dollars, you will no longer have to pay for qualifying medical expenses for the duration of your coverage year.

Understanding Your Medicare Deductible

For all Medicare plans, the deductible resets on January 1st of every year. If you have the standard Medicares Part A and B, the 2019 deductibles are $1,364 and $185 respectively. This means that once these deductibles are met for the year, Medicare will pay 100 percent of the rest of your year’s qualifying medical expenses. If you have opted in for other Medicare plans or upgrades, check your rates at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services online.

At Touchstone Imaging, we are committed to providing the best quality medical imaging care. Our imaging centers take most medical insurances and we are considered in-network on most insurance plans. Additionally, we offer a wide range of payment options including discounts, cash rates, and financing. We also accept Care Credit and can offer financial assistance for qualifying patients. Check out all of our billing options here. Contact our billing experts to help you find a way to get your medical imaging completed.