Most health insurance plans have deductibles. While you have an outstanding deductible, it might make certain care more expensive. To reduce the cost of care where your deductible applies, then you will have to pay off the deductible. However, deductibles themselves often cost several thousand dollars. Still, you might have resources available to help you save for the cost of the deductible.
How Deductibles Work
Health insurance deductibles are part of the out-of-pocket costs that a policyholder pays for medical care. Your insurer will not pay this portion of your costs. Instead, you must pay the deductible cost, and only then will your insurer offer coverage. A deductible is different from the co-insurance or co-payment that you might pay when you see a doctor.
If you have not paid off the deductible, then the cost of these services might be higher. If you have a $3,000 deductible and a $12,000 medical bill, then you must pay the first $3,000 of that bill. Your health insurance will then pay for some or all of the remaining $9,000.
Not every type of health care cost is subject to the deductible. You can often receive checkups, lab work, vaccinations or prescriptions without the deductible applying. The deductible will more likely apply to specialty medical care. Certain imaging services and surgical procedures often have this requirement. Keep in mind, if a procedure doesn’t have coverage, then your plan won’t pay at all, regardless of deductibles.
Saving for Your Deductible Cost
Deductibles can be financial burdens for many policyholders who need medical care. There are ways you can save money in the meantime that you can devote to the deductible cost. Some of these savings vessels are:
- Supplemental Insurance: Some insurers offer a policy supplement that you can apply to costs not covered by your primary coverage. It can often apply to your deductible.
- Health Savings Accounts (HSAs): These accounts allow you to put money into a tax-deferred savings account. You can specifically use the money for certain medical costs, including deductibles.
- Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs): Employers often fund HRAs. However, unlike with benefit deductions, employees don’t contribute through their paychecks. To get coverage for costs like deductibles you will have to submit a claim to your employer’s HRA provider.
- Some plans, like those offered through the federal health insurance marketplace, offer deductible savings for qualifying individuals.
Of course, old-fashioned budgeting can also assist you with your deductible, too. Still, there are often easier solutions out there. The best way to know what to do is to talk to your doctor and insurance provider. They can help you estimate what care you receive regularly might be subject to the deductible. Then, you can decide how you want to approach savings.