Health Insurance Deductible
What Is A Deductible?
A deductible is the amount you must pay towards your actual health care costs before your health insurance provider will begin to make payments. If your deductible is $1,000, then you must be billed $1,000 through your insurance before your provider will start to pay your bills. After your premium, the deductible will likely be one of your largest costs of health care.
Like with auto insurance, your health insurance deductible resets to $0 every year, and you will again have to spend the deductible through your insurance plan before your claims will be paid by your provider.
In most plans, co-pays do not count towards your deductible. Also, most plans cover basic preventive care, and do not require the deductible to be met before these services will be covered by the provider. You can have a check up or well baby visit paid for no matter the standing of your deductible. Note that your monthly premiums do not count towards your deductible, only actual health care billed through your insurance plan counts.
What Deductible Is Right For Me?
People who are used to receiving benefits at work often had a low or zero deductible health plan. The thought of paying $500, $1000 or even $5,000 out of pocket seems unthinkable and unacceptable. However, most private health insurance plans do have a deductible. If there are zero deductible plans in your area, they likely come with high coinsurance or high premiums.
Raising your deductible lowers you monthly premium. How much you are willing to raise your deductible is a personal choice. If you generally, year after year, have very high medical bills, choosing a lower deductible is likely in your best interest. If you have little in savings, and don’t think you’ll save money towards your deductible, you should consider the lower deductible plans with the higher monthly premiums. You don’t want to get a large medical bill you can not pay. Likewise, if you are good at saving money, or very rarely use medical care, you can generally achieve long term savings with a high deductible health plan paired with a health savings account.
If neither high nor low deductible sounds attractive to you, consider a plan with a higher coinsurance payment. Coinsurance is like a sliding scale deductible, in which you pay a percentage of your billed medical services, with your provider picking up the rest. With many plans, this sliding scale can go quite high, resulting in large coinsurance costs in the event of a very large medical bill. Because of this coinsurance can increase the potential total out of pocket cost of a plan.
Pay Attention To The Overall Cost
Remember, your deductible is only one part of your health care cost. Premiums, deductibles, coinsurance and copays all factor into your cost of health care.
Its best to play around with lots of different quotes to see how the costs change. Ehealthinsurance is best for this because they give detailed quotes based on anonymous info you provide – and contact info is not required.
Whatever deductible you choose, make sure you have the money to pay it before you get sick.