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January 2014
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Learning About High-Deductible Health Insurance the Hard Way

If you’ve been thinking about moving to a high-deductible health insurance plan to save some money on your health insurance premiums, but can’t quite pull the trigger, we found this interesting report on high-deductible health insurance by PBS:

Watch High-Deductible Plans ‘Quiet Revolution in Health Insurance’ on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

If you are thinking about high-deductible health insurance, keep in mind:

Should I Join a High-Deductible Health Insurance Plan?

High-deductible health insurance might be a good option for you if:

You are healthy. If you typically have minimal healthcare expenses, the combination of low premiums and minimal out-of-pocket expenses may save you money.

You have some money in the bank. If you have a high-deductible health plan, even though the monthly premiums are low, do you need to be prepared to pay out the deductible in the event you do become ill.

You are comfortable with some risk. If you have a high-deductible health plan and do develop a chronic condition, you may have more out-of-pocket expenses than you originally anticipated. And remember, once you are diagnosed with a chronic condition, it becomes much more difficult to find a traditional plan at an affordable price.

You can’t afford any other insurance. High-deductible health plans do not offer the comprehensive coverage of more traditional plan, but it is still better than no insurance at all. It will offer some relief if you are diagnosed with a major illness or are the victim of an accident, and if it is all you can afford, it will help.

High-deductible health plans are probably not a good option if:

You have a condition that requires ongoing care. If you have a condition that requires ongoing care, the out-of-pocket expenses that you will have to spend on an annual basis with a high-deductible plan may mean that a more traditional plan is a more cost-effective option.

You don’t have money in case of an emergency. Since high-deductible health plans require you to meet a high deductible before coverage kicks in, you need to be prepared to spend thousands in medical expenses before your coverage kicks in. If you don’t have access to that kind of money in the event of an emergency, you should consider other options.

You don’t like risk. Anyone purchasing a high-deductible health plan needs to be comfortable with the idea that they could be on the hook for meeting the full amount of their deductible in the event of a medical emergency. If you are not, you should really think about going with a more traditional plan.

Do you have high-deductible health insurance? Tell us about it in our discussion forum!

Related posts:

  1. Open Enrollment: Is High Deductible Health Insurance the Answer?
  2. High-Deductible Health Insurance Follow-up: High-Deductible Health Insurance and Health Savings Accounts
  3. Americans on High-Deductible Health Insurance and HSAs Jumps
  4. Healthcare Reform: Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and High-Deductible (Catastrophic) Health Insurance
  5. High-Deductible (Catastrophic) Health Insurance Plans: What Are They? Are They Worth It?

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