Having health insurance can lower your costs even when you have to pay out of pocket to meet your deductible. Insurance companies negotiate their rates with providers and you’ll pay that discounted rate. People without insurance pay, on average, twice as much for care.
A health insurance deductible is different from other types of deductibles. Unlike auto, renters, or homeowners insurance, where you don’t get services until you pay your deductible, many health insurance plans provide some benefits before you meet the deductible.
All medical plans cover preventive care. Screenings, immunizations, and other preventive services are covered without requiring you to pay your deductible. Many health insurance plans also cover other benefits like doctor visits and prescription drugs even if you haven’t met your deductible.
In 2014, there usually is a $6,350 maximum for individual out-of-pocket costs for in-network services. The maximum for families is $12,700. Even if you choose a high deductible catastrophic plan, your out-of-pocket costs should not exceed this limit.
Over 70% of Marketplace plans have deductibles under $3,000. When you choose a health insurance plan, it’s important to understand what your insurance company covers without requiring you to pay your deductible. Then you can decide whether you want a plan with lower monthly premiums and a higher deductible, or one with a higher monthly premium and a lower deductible.