Avoiding Healthcare Cost Surprises with UnitedHealthcare and a chance to Win $500

When your child gets injured, the last thing you want to worry about is whether your healthcare costs will be covered or not.

Thankfully, that’s something my family has never had to worry about.

It’s not to say we have not had our fair share of emergency room visits.  With three adventurous daughters I’ve dealt with more broken bones than I care to count.  In fact there was a time we frequented the emergency room so often the nurses knew the girls by name. Yikes!

Not all injuries happened close to home…

In August of 2011 my family surprised me with an adventure filled weekend for my 45th birthday.

We headed to Mammoth Lake for a few delicious days of hiking, boating and lots of quality family time.

On our last day, we were exploring an area by the lake filled with fallen trees.  They lay everywhere creating a maze of particular interest to my 10 year old.   Poor baby ended slipping and caught herself on one of the tree trunks with branches protruding everywhere.

Thankfully my hubby and I are both ski patrollers and were able to carefully extract her and stabilize the resulting puncture wound in her wrist.

We rushed her to the hospital where the piece of branch was extracted, the wound cleaned and sealed with a few stitches.

And everything was covered by our healthcare plan! No unpleasant surprises for our family.  🙂

Are Out-Of-Network healthcare costs covered by your health plan?

Mammoth Lakes has one hospital.

It is not part of our network.

But we knew that our expenses would be covered as if we had gone to a hospital within out network.  That was a real blessing. Emergency room visits with a surgeon are not cheap but we were able to tend to our daughter without worry about the financial impact.

Do you know what out-of-network expenses are covered by your health plan?

UnitedHealthcare recently launched a new site, EngageUHC.com,  to support you in making the best healthcare decisions for you and your family.

The best part?

Each engagement with EngageUHC offers you a chance to win a $500 monthly prize and a $100 weekly prize.

Cost Quiz

Cost Quiz UHC graphic

Answer three questions about healthcare costs. It only takes a few minutes and provides you with invaluable information about your healthcare plan… Take the quiz here.

Look and Learn

UHC Look and Learn Banner

Watch a short video then answer 1 question for a chance to win.  The question will appear 30 seconds after the start of the video.  Watch it here

Perfect Match

UHC Perfect Match Banner

The classic game you’ve loved since you were little with a “healthy” twist ;-).  Play it here

Each month UnitedHealthcare will focus on a specific topic.  This month’s topic is avoiding cost surprises.

Here are ways UnitedHealthcare helps you avoid unpleasant cost surprises:

  1. Stay in network when getting treatment or going to see a doctor. You could end up paying 5 times as much for a surgery done by an out of network doctor as you would if you just did a little research and made sure your doctor was in your health plan’s network.
  2. There’s a cost estimator tool on myuhc.com that you can use if you’re a member that provides you with cost estimates for certain procedures. it does the following:
    a. Get personalized estimates and save on a variety of services.
    b. See approximate total costs, out-of-pocket costs and how they compare to the average in your area.
    c. Find side-by-side quality of care comparisons for network physicians to help choose the best provider for you.
  3. Sometimes you may need to see a specialist for a certain reason or condition. The important thing is to check whether or not your plan requires referrals for those types of visits. Your Primary Care Provider tracks your health care and status, so they can help prevent small problems from getting bigger, and thus can refer you to a specialist. Make sure you get a referral if your plan requires it…otherwise visiting a specialist can set you back thousands of dollars

Knowing what healthcare costs are covered by our healthcare plan brings us peace of mind.  It means we can go about our adventures without worry, confident we’ll always get the care we need whatever happens.  🙂


  1. ilaria carraro says:

    very interesting

  2. Healthcare expenses can go really high when you start going outside plan Doctors and hospitals

    • It’s crazy how expensive healthcare costs can be outside of network April! I feel pretty blessed not to have to worry about that for the most part. There is one cost I am willing to pay out of pocket, however, as my provider does not cover it, and that is the cost of thermography. The only breast exam my healthcare plan covers is a mammogram but I prefer thermography and feel strongly enough about it that I am willing to pay the $150 or so for the test every other year.

    • I would love to win this $500

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