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'The Business of Health Care Report'

Summer Reminds of the Importance of Catastrophic Health Coverage

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I’m Doug Hawthorne, president and CEO of Texas Health Resources, with “The Business of Health Care Report.”

In North Texas, the hot, sunny month of July often arrives with a vengeance. This means warm-weather activities, such as swimming and boating, kick into high gear and bring fond memories of family vacations, picnics and softball games. For others, it will be fraught with peril – heat stroke, West Nile virus. Or even worse – diving and boating accidents – and catastrophic injury.

Have you ever considered who would pay the medical bills if a catastrophic injury were to strike you or someone in your family this summer? You would – and if you’re uninsured – the cost could be financially devastating.

If your employer doesn’t offer health insurance or you simply don’t want to pay for coverage you don’t believe you need, you may be a candidate for a “catastrophic” health insurance policy.

Sometimes called a “major medical” plan, catastrophic policies are characterized by high deductibles and low monthly premiums. These plans typically cover only major hospital and medical expenses, while you pay out-of-pocket for everything else, such as routine doctor visits and prescription drugs.

Of course, anyone who considers purchasing a catastrophic policy needs to evaluate the financial tradeoffs, but summer reminds us that it’s important to protect ourselves and our family against catastrophic injury and financial peril.

For Texas Health Resources and its faith-based hospitals – Harris Methodist, Presbyterian and Arlington Memorial – I’m Doug Hawthorne.

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