Back in May, my husband hurt his knee in a unicycling mishap. We have a friend who’s nearly finished with medical school and he determined that none of the major ligaments were torn, but thought that there might be some damage to the miniscus. My husband has been doing intensive rehab at the gym all summer, and has taken precautions to avoid further injuring his knee while it heals. It had been progressing nicely for a few months, but for the last few weeks it hasn’t really improved much, and it’s still not all the way right.
So the time has come to spend some money on his knee. Sucks, but at least the only debt we have now is our mortgage, so this shouldn’t set us back for too long. Our health insurance policy is an HSA qualified plan with a $3000 deductible and 100% coverage after the deductible. So the worst case scenario is $3000, and it will be fully tax-free, since we’ll use HSA money to pay the deductible. The good news is that one of the best knee treatment facilities in the world is only a few hours from where we live, and they’re on our insurance network. Yay! If we’re going to have to meet our deductible anyway, he might as well have the best care possible.
My husband made an appointment for tomorrow for an initial consultation on his knee. This time around it will all be going through insurance, and we know exactly how much we’ll be paying ($3000) so we won’t be having the sort of issues we had with the dermatology clinic. We’ll be sure to get everything precertified and follow all the health insurance rules so as not to have any nasty surprises.
Since I got promoted at the library in January, I’ve been putting 30% of my pay into a 457 plan. It amounts to about $450/month, and my 457 plan is currently worth just over $3500. Not bad for nine months in a part-time job. But now I think we’re going to have to start redirecting those savings to our HSA instead. The money will still be tax-free, and whatever we don’t use for medical expeses will just keep rolling over from one year to the next and function as retirement savings eventually. But since we know we’re almost certainly going to have to meet our health insurance deductible in the near future, we’d both feel safer having the money in an account that can be accessed for medical care.
So this afternoon I’m going to go to my HR office and reduce my retirement savings to 5%. Then we’ll bump our HSA contributions up to at least $500/month for the next several months, giving us a cushion against future medical expenses as well as paying for this current expense. We’ll continue to put $200/month into an IRA as we’ve always done, and $100/month into our non-medical emergency fund. I’ll let you know how it goes.