1. Money
Send to a Friend via Email

Understanding Your Health Insurance Deductible

Learning More About Your Health Deductible is Helpful

By

The health insurance deductible is something that most people have heard of before and have some understanding of. Sometimes called a health deductible, medical deductible or health plan deductible, most are usually referring to the amount they have to pay out of pocket for certain health care procedures or before their health care plan will pay for any procedure.

Be Prepared and Know About Your Medical Deductibles

It is important that everyone with or without health insurance understand the different types medical deductibles and how they work with their insurance plan. Once one understands more about their health plan deductible they will be better prepared to purchase a health care plan that works best for them or they will be able to get better use out of their current health care plan.

Deductible: The Definition

First, let's go over the basic definition of a medical deductible. In a nutshell, a health plan deductible is the amount of money that the insured would need to pay before any benefits from the health insurance policy can be used. Sometimes the medical deductible is confused with a co-insurance payment. There are some procedures that one can have where they only have to pay a co-payment and would not have to meet the deductible yet.

The Medical Deductible Can be a Major Money Saver!

An important aspect about a health plan deductible that most people like is that choosing the right deductible can lead to huge savings. In most cases, the lower the medical deductible, the higher the cost of the policy will be. Remember, the plan deductible is the amount one is willing to contribute so if the policy holder is willing to pitch in a little more, then the insurance company is willing to cut the premium costs. Of course, just getting a low premium payment is not the only thing one should consider when choosing health insurance but some prefer a high deductible health insurance policy, otherwise known as an emergency health insurance policy, and prefer to pay for the smaller procedures, such as basic office visits, themselves.

Want a High Deductible Plan but Are Worried About How to Pay the Small Stuff?

This is where a health savings account can help. A health savings account is a savings account that one can use for health care fees. The account holder can add a regular amount to it monthly, like one would a savings account, and even earn interest. Then, when the account holder needs some extra cash to pay for the small procedures or visits not covered until the medical deductible is met, they can use the money in their HSA. And HSA monies can be used for more items than the health insurance plan would cover such as certain over the counter drugs and medical items!

What about Non-Comprehensive Deductibles?

Yes, it is important to know this term because unlike comprehensive deductibles, which would apply to all procedures, a non-comprehensive deductible will only apply to certain procedures. Usually a non-comprehensive deductible will count towards larger procedures and hospital visits but not smaller and/or routine visits. For instance, a yearly physical would not count towards the non-comprehensive deductible but a visit to the emergency room would. Every health insurance policy is different so check with your policy and know if you have a non-comprehensive deductible and how it works within your health insurance policy.

Cumulitive Deductibles

There is another medical deductible term that is important to understand and it is the cumulative deductible. Cumulative deductibles are especially important if one has a large amount of family members on their policy. This is because if one's policy includes a cumulative deductible, that means that only one deductible amount has to be met by all the people on the health insurance policy. As an example, if a health insurance policy has a cumulative deductible of $1500 and individual deductibles of $500, then after 3 family member's deductibles are met, there would be no more money required for deductibles. So, this would be helpful for a family that has more than three family members. Again, every policy is different so check into your policy to see how the cumulative deductible would work for your family.

  1. About.com
  2. Money
  3. Personal Insurance
  4. Health Insurance
  5. Your Health Deductible - Knowing and Understanding Your Medical Plan Deductible Can Help You Save

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.