What are the pros and cons of a high deductible plan?

Asked by: Elias Hammes  |  Last update: November 17, 2023
Score: 4.8/5 (49 votes)

Yes, HDHPs keep your monthly payments low. But there are some downsides you should consider, including: Large medical expenses: Since HDHPs generally only cover preventive care, an accident or emergency could result in very high out-of-pocket costs.

What is the downside to a high deductible?

It Is More Expensive to Manage a Chronic Illness With an HDHP. A chronic illness, such as heart disease or diabetes, can be much more expensive to manage under an HDHP than a traditional health care plan. With these conditions, regular medications and health screenings may be required.

Are high deductible plans a good idea?

If you're in good health, rarely need prescription drugs, and don't expect to incur significant medical expenses in the coming year, you might consider an HDHP. In trade for lower premiums, HDHPs require you to meet your deductible before you get any coverage for treatment other than preventive care.

Why would you not choose a high-deductible health plan?

Costly out-of-pocket medical expenses: If you choose a high-deductible health plan and need non-preventive medical care, or costly medical care, you will have to pay all of your deductible before your plan begins to help you pay for covered costs.

What is the upside and downside of a high deductible?

Key Takeaways. High-deductible health plans (HDHPs) are affordable health insurance plans with relatively low monthly premiums. On the downside, these plans have higher deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. This means more healthcare expenses are paid by the individual and not the insurer.

High Deductible Health Plans vs PPO Explained // PPO vs HDHP

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Is it better to have a high deductible or low one?

Low deductibles are best when an illness or injury requires extensive medical care. High-deductible plans offer more manageable premiums and access to HSAs.

Why would you want a higher deductible?

If you're enrolled in a plan with a higher deductible, preventive care services (like annual checkups and screenings) are typically covered without you having to pay the deductible first. And a higher deductible also means you pay lower monthly costs.

Who is a high deductible plan good for?

A high-deductible health plan is a health insurance plan with a sizable deductible and lower monthly premiums. Only HDHPs qualify for tax-advantaged health savings accounts. An HDHP is best for younger, healthier people who don't expect to need health care coverage except in the face of a serious health emergency.

Why do employers like high deductible health plans?

The pros of HDHPs

Higher deductibles usually mean lower premiums for small businesses trying to find ways to cut costs and save. In 2021, the average annual premium for an employer-sponsored family coverage plan was $22,221.

What determines a high deductible plan?

Per IRS guidelines in 2024, an HDHP is a health insurance plan with a deductible of at least $1,600 if you have an individual plan – or a deductible of at least $3,200 if you have a family plan. The deductible is the amount you'll pay out of pocket for medical expenses before your insurance pays anything.

What is a typical high deductible?

For 2022, the IRS defines a high deductible health plan as any plan with a deductible of at least $1,400 for an individual or $2,800 for a family. An HDHP's total yearly out-of-pocket expenses (including deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance) can't be more than $7,050 for an individual or $14,100 for a family.

What percentage of people have high deductible plans?


Twenty-nine percent of covered workers are enrolled in an HDHP/SO in 2022, similar to the percentage last year (28%) [Figure 8.4]. Enrollment in HDHP/SOs has increased over the past decade, from 19% of covered workers in 2012 to 29% in 2022 [Figure 8.4].

What percentage of Americans have high deductible plans?

The report says that more than 55% of Americans were enrolled in HDHPs in 2021, a new record. The rate rose from 30.3% in 2013 (the lowest enrollment in the 10 years studied) to 55.7% in 2021, an 83.7% increase.

Do you pay more with a higher deductible?

How it works. A deductible is the amount you pay for health care services each year before your health insurance begins to pay. In most cases, the higher a plan's deductible, the lower the premium. When you're willing to pay more up front when you need care, you save on what you pay each month.

Why would consumers ever choose insurance plans with large deductibles?

The general rule is that if your policy comes with a high deductible, you'll pay lower premiums every month or year because you're responsible for more costs before coverage starts. On the other hand, higher premiums usually mean lower deductibles. In these cases, the insurance plan kicks in much quicker.

What is a normal deductible for health insurance?

What is a typical deductible? Deductibles can vary significantly from plan to plan. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), the 2022 average deductible for individual, employer-provided coverage was $1,763 ($2,543 at small companies vs. $1,493 at large companies).

Is it better to have a $500 deductible or $1000?

Having a higher deductible typically lowers your insurance rates, but many companies have similar rates for $500 and $1,000 deductibles. Some companies may only charge a few dollars difference per month, making a $500 deductible the better option in some circumstances.

Do most people meet their health insurance deductible?

Some people have very high health spending and therefore will likely meet their deductibles early in the year. Those with very low health spending may never meet their deductible, nor will the 1 in 8 people with employer coverage who have no health spending at all in a given year.

Is a 2 000 deductible high?

Car insurance deductible options range from $250 to $2,500, so a $2,000 deductible is relatively high. The higher your deductible is, the lower your car insurance premiums will be. For instance, the premiums for a $2,000 deductible are 35% lower than the premiums with a $500 deductible, on average.

What is considered high-deductible health plan 2023?

High-deductible health plans (HDHPs) are known for having high deductibles in exchange for lower monthly premiums. For 2023, an HDHP is any plan with a deductible of at least $1,500 for an individual or $3,000 for a family. The maximum out-of-pocket expenses are $7,500 for an individual and $15,000 for a family.

How do you manage a high deductible plan?

Tips for Managing a High Deductible Health Plan
  1. Shop for procedures. ...
  2. Research prescription costs. ...
  3. Look for prescription assistance programs. ...
  4. Enroll in an HSA. ...
  5. Negotiate your payment options. ...
  6. Know what is free.

What is the maximum out of pocket for high-deductible health plan 2023?

The annual out-of-pocket expenses (deductibles, copayments and other amounts, but not premiums) do not exceed $7,500 for self-only coverage or $15,000 for family coverage.

What are the disadvantages of HSA?

The main downside of an HSA is that you must have a high-deductible health insurance plan to get one. A health insurance deductible is the amount of money you must pay out of pocket each year before your insurance plan benefits begin.

When did high-deductible health plans begin?

High-deductible health plans are a form of catastrophic coverage, intended to cover for catastrophic illnesses. Adoption rates of HDHPs have been growing since their inception in 2004, not only with increasing employer options, but also increasing government options.

Does copay count towards deductible?

As a general rule, copays do not count towards a health plan's deductible. Copays typically apply to some services while the deductible applies to others.