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Understanding Health Insurance Deductibles

Cropped SingleCare logo By | July 27, 2015

A trip to the doctor’s office can be made cheaper by low insurance deductibles, but the process can get confusing in a hurry if you’re not sure of the exact costs and what your plan is getting you.

There’s that tricky word again — what exactly is a deductible? Put simply, it’s what you’re required to pay before the insurance company starts covering your expenses.

Here’s the gist of it: customers already pay a monthly insurance premium to a provider, but when they actually need medical attention, they first have to pay an out-of-pocket deductible before coverage kicks in. It’s a frustrating fact that all insured adults eventually have to deal with.

In practice, this process is even more complicated than it seems — some insurance plans have lower deductibles, but these usually come with higher monthly premiums. While over 70% of plans have deductibles under $3,000, it’s important to find out just what this deductible is getting you, according to HealthCare.gov.

Weighing Health Insurance Options

In spite of these upfront costs, paying for healthcare of some kind is still the obvious choice — when you really need help, it’ll cost about half as much as what you would pay if you were uninsured. Even though it can be frustrating to fork over money before anything has gone wrong, a plan counts when you need it most.

Most plans will cover basic expenses like yearly check-ups and basic prescriptions, even if you haven’t yet met your deductible.

But at the same time, choosing a plan and a deductible rate can be something of a gamble — the more you pay for a deductible, the more procedures and kinds of treatment the insurance will cover. This means that you could potentially buy an affordable insurance plan that doesn’t really meet your needs as they arise.

According to Forbes, the most effective way to get a sense of the quality of your insurance plan is to look at the cost of your initial deductible. While an increase of these rates isn’t necessarily a bad thing — and could even signal improved coverage — these higher costs give many Americans pause.

When it comes down to brass tacks, plenty of people feel that they can’t afford this “luxury” and instead gamble on their continued good health.

Outside the Box

Even though the Affordable Care Act has made it easier for all citizens to afford insurance, there are still many people — most of them under 35 — who continue to go uncovered.

Deductibles and premiums are difficult to understand, and many younger customers feel that they can save money by skimping on coverage, relying instead on their youth and lack of health issues in the past.

But the fact of the matter is that nobody is invincible. And luckily, there are valuable and useful alternatives to the traditional coverage that’s out there. SingleCare offers a completely unique and unprecedented platform, allowing users to sign up for individual appointments on an as-need basis.

This means that if you suffer an unexpected injury — or just need a check-up — you can use our simple pay-by-appointment services, even if you don’t have insurance.

SingleCare appointments provide treatment identical to what you would receive through a traditional insurance plan, and often at a lower cost than what you’d pay before maxing out your deductible. Through our partnership with a wide range of physicians and healthcare providers, we make sure you get the care you need at a much-reduced cost.

Deductibles and insurance premiums are confusing and expensive, but now there are reliable alternatives for simple, comprehensive medical coverage.

(Main image credit: Herry Lawford/flickr)