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Healthcare Defined: “Deductible”

Cropped SingleCare logo By | May 25, 2016

Sometimes, healthcare can seem like a whole different language. In this series, we break down some common healthcare terms into plain English.

Deductible (noun) — The amount of money you have to pay for your healthcare services, like a check-up or surgery, before your health insurance begins to cover your medical expenses. A deductible can vary depending on which insurance plan you choose and resets every year in January.

So, what does that mean for you?

If your plan includes a $1,000 deductible, you have to pay the $1,000 for your medical expenses (in any given year) before your insurance company foots the bill. So, after you’ve exceeded that $1,000, you’re insurance company will be covering any further expenses.

There are some tricky parts. The amount your insurance company charges you to participate in the plan (called the monthly premium, usually taken out of your paycheck) and initial payment towards services like doctor visits and prescriptions (co-pays) aren’t applied towards your deductible.

Senior doctor with clipboard explaining report to female patient in hospital

[Image credit: tetmc/Thinkstock]

When signing up for health insurance, take a moment to think about the deductible you choose. We can’t predict the future, but if you find you make a lot of visits to the doctor in a year, consider a lower deductible, higher premium plan: you’ll hit your deductible a little bit sooner. If you rarely experience any health issues or didn’t meet your deductible the year before, consider a high deductible, lower premium plan to get the best value for your money.

But, avoid this headache all around — SingleCare offers you a more convenient and cost-effective alternative, and since we’re not insurance, there are no high premiums or deductibles. We want you to be able to personalize your healthcare experience without breaking the bank, so if you’re never going to reach your deductible, hop on SingleCare’s website and shop for the services at rates 50% less than competitors. Either way, a deductible shouldn’t stop you from getting the best care possible, and we believe your health shouldn’t have a price tag or limit.  

[Main image credit: AndreyPopov/ Thinkstock]