What is a Health Insurance Deductible?

Health Insurance Deductible California

Recent changes to health care laws have afforded millions of Americans health insurance in San Diego and throughout the nation. If you are insured for the first time or are not familiar with your health care policy, it’s important to understand the basics of health care, starting with your deductible.

A health insurance deductible is the amount of money that an insured patient is expected to pay before insurance kicks in. For instance, if you have a plan with a $3,000 deductible, and your doctor recommends some expensive testing at $10,000, you will be expected to pay the first $3,000 and the insurance benefits will pay the remaining $7,000. Sometimes the deductible is referred to as an “out-of-pocket” expense.

Health insurance and prescription drugs plans usually set back to zero each year. For instance, if your plan has prescription drug coverage with a $150 deductible, then at the first of the year, your trips to the pharmacy will require you to pay up to $150 before the insurance offsets your usual prescription costs. This can be a shock if you are not expecting it, but if you know your plan and your typical pharmacy expense you can prepare for this each year.

Most health insurance policies treat routine doctor visits and normal preventive screenings differently. Your deductible amount would not affect these services. In most cases, these types of services require a co-pay, a small, fixed amount that you pay at each visit. Whatever this amount is, it would not be calculated in with your yearly deductible amount.

Different plans have different deductibles. Usually, the higher the deductible is, the less you pay for your monthly premium. If you are young and have no health problems, choosing a plan with a high deductible may make sense. If you have no major injuries or illness during the year, you may never even use your insurance except for routine doctors’ visits. If you plan to have a baby or your health is poor, you may find that a lower deductible is better for you. Ask your health insurance professional to help you find the best plan for your circumstances.

For more information about affordable health insurance policies in San Diego, call (619) 272-2100 and speak with an experienced insurance agent from American Tri-Star or get a free quote online.