High Deductible Health Insurance
The rising cost of health insurance premiums have caused many families to search for a suitable alternative. This may involve actually cancelling your health insurance policy altogether, and paying for any medical expenses out-of-pocket. This is fine if you are relatively healthy and are able to afford a few doctors visits a year, what would you do if you were diagnosed to have a serious illness or even needed major surgery?
This is why many people now turn to high deductible health insurance plans. With this type of insurance you are able to pay the out-of-pocket expenses for your basic doctor’s visits and prescriptions, although should you ever need some form of major medical care at least you have some peace of mind to know that you have a suitable insurance policy in place. A high deductible health insurance policy is able to offer coverage once you have reached the deductible after paying for numerous out-of-pocket expenses. One of the major advantages of having a high deductible health insurance plan is that your premiums are likely to be far lower than a standard health insurance policy.
However, with that said, you should be aware that a high deductible health insurance plan is not suitable for everyone. Many people are attracted to this type of insurance policy merely because the premiums are typically low. You should also be aware that there are certain guidelines that you will need to follow if you do decide to purchase this type of health insurance policy. It is generally considered that are high deductible health insurance plan is most suitable for you if:
- You are in good health
- You hardly ever need prescription drugs
- You are able to afford the out-of-pocket expenses of a high deductible health insurance plan which will typically be in the region of $1000-$2000
- You have no pre-existing medical conditions
- You have no plans to get pregnant
The specific guidelines you should look to follow if you wish to purchase a high deductible health insurance plan are:
- Set up a health savings account (HSA) which can be used to cover your out-of-pocket expenses
- Prior to looking at this type of insurance policy, that will typically be purchased via a private insurance company, see if your employer is able to offer a similar type of insurance plan
- It is important that you shop around and compare premium costs, compare the costs in conjunction with the amount of deductible, check to see what is covered and what is not covered, what is your lifetime annual benefit, and indeed the annual premium.
The main downside to a high deductible health insurance plan is that you are completely responsible for paying all out-of-pocket expenses until you reach your deductible. This will mean that you will have to pay 100% of the costs of doctor’s visits, emergency room visits, and prescriptions. This may even mean that you are liable for paying for the cost of surgery and any outpatient procedures. It is also vitally important that if you are thinking about getting pregnant at you should check your policy to see if there is any specific maternity cover.
As mentioned, a high deductible health insurance plan is most suited to people who are relatively healthy and very rarely visit the doctor. It is, obviously, a great option if you are looking to cut your overall expenditure, but there is absolutely no point in doing this unless you can initially set aside the total amount of the deductible to cover your expenses.
No matter how attractive a high deductible health insurance plan seems, you must ensure that it fits in with your budget and personal circumstances. There have been numerous statistics revealed about the use of this type of insurance policy. It is estimated that up to 40% of adults who have deductibles of $1000 or more are subject to various cost related access problems. These include not being able to get specialist care when it was most needed, not filling a prescription, having to skip a test or follow-up appointment that has been recommended, or having a medical problem but not being able to visit either a clinical doctor.
The most common problem for people who have a high deductible health insurance plan is being able to pay a medical bill. It is believed that well over 50% of people who have a deductible of $1000 or more have reported extreme difficulties in being able to pay a medical bill. This is especially true of lower income families who typically have an income of under $35,000 and deductibles in excess of $500.
Although high deductible health insurance plans may be a fantastic way to reduce your premiums, they can often deter patients from seeking medical care that they desperately require. For the people who do visit their doctor or medical health professional, it can often cause a financial burden. As mentioned, the only time you should consider purchasing a high deductible health insurance plan is if you are able to cover the amount of deductible from your own out-of-pocket expenses.