Health insurance deductibles can be confusing to calculate and understand because they’re not as simple as “the insurance company will cover the cost of everything after you pay this amount within a 12 month time frame.” If you’ve run into some confusion or concerns over what deductibles cover and how high your deductible should be, here are 3 things you might not have known about health insurance deductibles:
Marketplace Plans Include Deductible-Free Preventive Services
After the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, the rate of uninsured Utahns declined and the rate of individuals seeking out preventive health care services – such as cancer screenings – increased. One of the best parts of the ACA is that it made preventive health services free-of-charge for insured individuals and families, which can lead to long-term cost savings for the state as a whole because otherwise serious medical problems can be addressed much sooner.
Even if you don’t get sick or injured very often, having access to deductible-free preventive health screenings and check-ups is a tremendous advantage offered by marketplace health insurance plans.
High Deductible Plans Are Cheaper and Riskier
Did you know that some health plans come with annual deductibles as high as $10,000? This can be insurmountable for many individuals and families to grapple with if any unexpected medical issues arise during the year, especially since you’re already paying for health insurance premiums every month. Typically, the higher the deductible is, the lower your monthly payment will be. But are the modest cost-savings truly worth the potential risk?
Additionally, don’t forget that not all medical expenses are factored into your deductible. This is why it’s so important to speak with a trusted insurance professional prior to taking out a new health insurance plan, to ensure you understand the costs and benefits involved in the plan you’re considering.
Silver Plans Offer the Best Balance
When it comes to balancing risk of high unexpected costs with affordable monthly payments on the health insurance marketplace, Silver plans are the way to go. As HealthCare.gov writes, Silver plans are ideal for individuals and families who qualify for cost-sharing reductions (premium tax credits). Unlike Bronze-tier plans, the annual deductibles for Silver plans are significantly lower (around $1,500 to $3,000 in many cases), and the copayments are also lower.
While the monthly payment is higher for a Silver plan, it’s worth the added expense if you genuinely use your health insurance coverage due to accidental injuries, illness or other conditions multiple times each year. The alternative would be paying a lower monthly premium and hoping nothing happens to you or a loved one during the course of the year. If you prefer to have some peace of mind, then paying a little extra for a Silver health plan is worth it.