High deductible health plans are rising in popularity, with more companies offering them and even more people purchasing them individually. These plans definitely have benefits, like their lower premiums, and they can be great for healthy people on a budget. On the other hand the high deductibles of these plans can be a problem, because going to the doctor or hospital can mean being stuck with a big bill. Or knowing you have a high deductible to meet might make you think twice about seeking care, and you might end up ignoring symptoms until things get worse. However, there are ways to make the most of your high deductible health plan while getting the care you need and saving money.
Utilize Your Freebies
Under the ACA, all insurance plans must provide coverage for some preventive health services with no out-of-pocket costs- this applies to high deductible health plans. These free preventive services will not have a copay and do not count towards your deductible. You can expect to get free vaccines, cholesterol and blood pressure screenings, birth control, and some cancer screenings such as mammograms and colonoscopies.
Check with your insurance plan’s details and be sure to stay in-network to avoid unexpected costs; these services are free but you still have to stay within your plan’s network.
Ask For Discount
If you are sick and need to seek treatment, but are worried about a high medical bill, ask your provider if they offer any discounts. Some doctors’ offices will offer a discount if you pay with cash, or you can ask your doctor for a discount on a service that you will have to pay for entirely out-of-pocket. If they do not offer any discounts, then ask if they offer payment plans so you can avoid medical debt.
Triple Tax Advantages With HSA
One of the major benefits of having a high deductible health insurance plan is the ability to have a health savings account (HSA) alongside it. HSAs allow you to put money aside, pre-tax, to help you pay for qualified medical expenses. These accounts offer a triple tax advantage because:
- Contributions are tax-deductible
- Contributions roll over and can continue to grow tax-free into the following year
- Withdrawals are not taxed if you use them for qualified medical expenses.
Take note that unqualified expenses incur a 20% penalty.
Stay In Network
This is said a lot, but it is worth repeating. In order to avoid major out-of-pocket expenses, you must stay within your plan’s network. When you have a high deductible plan, it is especially important to stay within the network to avoid extra charges. Only in-network services will count towards meeting your deductible; any care you get outside of your network will not count. Make sure to double check with your insurance company and doctor’s office that any specialists you are referred to are in your plan’s network.
Do you have a high deductible health insurance plan? Are you considering one? If you are in need of help, EZ.Insure is here for you. We provide accurate quotes on all plans in your area, and our trained agents will go over each plan and will find one that fits your needs and budget. To get free quotes, simply enter your zip code in the bar above, or to speak to an agent, call 888-350-1890.