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What is no deductible health insurance?

Keep in mind...
  • A deductible is the amount of money you’re required to pay before your insurance company will pay for your expenses. A no-deductible plan will only require minimal copayments or coinsurance
  • Different health care plans come with different deductibles, so it’s smart to shop around before selecting a plan
  • In many cases, no and low-deductible plans come with higher premiums and vice versa

Health insurance, like everything else in life, comes at a cost. Sometimes that cost is paid for by employers or the government. In most cases, people seeking insurance have to pay for a portion of the bills.

The deductible is the amount that you have to pay in a given year before your insurance company will assume responsibility for your health care expenses. Certain plans may have no deductible. They may, however, have co-payments and premiums that you’re responsible for.

The Basics of Paying for Health Insurance

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Health care can be expensive, and generally, the costs are shared between the individual being insured and the organization (e.g. employers and government agencies) through which that person gets insurance.

– Premiums

The premium can be thought of as a monthly bill. You’ll pay the premium each month to keep your insurance active. With some plans, you can arrange to make your payments on a bimonthly, quarterly, or annual basis. If you don’t pay your premium, your insurance plan can be canceled.

Plans with lower premiums are usually associated with higher out-of-pocket costs. In contrast, low- or no-deductible plans are typically associated with higher premiums.

– Copayments

Your copayment is a price that’s set by your insurance company. It may be $10 or $20 for example. That means that each time you visit a health care service provider, you’ll pay him or her that amount. In a no-deductible plan, you may still be asked to pay this copayment each time you receive a service. Many offices take cash, check, and credit card as payment methods.

In a no-deductible plan, you may still be asked to pay this copayment each time you receive a service. Many offices take cash, check, and credit card as payment methods.

– Coinsurance

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The coinsurance is the percentage of the bill you’re asked to pay after you’ve met your deductible. In the case of a no-deductible plan, the coinsurance would apply to each service you receive. It could be 20 or 30 percent, so you should compare your options regarding coinsurance especially if you anticipate receiving a lot of services in a calendar year.

– Out-of-Pocket Maximums

To keep total expenses from getting too high for an individual or a family, many health insurance plans have capped out-of-pocket costs. Once you hit your out-of-pocket maximum, your insurance company will cover everything else. This excludes premiums.

No-Deductible Plans

For some people, no-deductible plans are very appealing. Under this type of coverage, you can see your service provider as frequently as you’d like to without receiving large bills for each visit. Remember that you would still be asked to pay the copayment and/or coinsurance, but this would probably be a fraction of the real cost of the service.

– HMOs

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Most of the no-deductible plans are administered by HMOs. HMO stands for Health Maintenance Organization. An HMO may limit your options by only paying for services when you see providers within its network.

This limitation is not an issue for many people, as the HMO provides a full range of services. You just may not have as much of a choice regarding who actually provides that service to you.

When seeking general or specialized services from an out-of-network provider, you may be asked to pay the entire cost of the visit. You should be covered, though, when you seek emergency care, urgent care, and dialysis from organizations out of the HMO network.

Low-Deductible Plans

When a no-deductible plan is not available nor ideal for you, you have other options. If you anticipate seeing the doctor a lot in the upcoming year, you might choose to go with a low-deductible plan. You’ll probably pay a relatively higher premium in exchange for lower out-of-pocket costs.

This type of set-up may help you when creating and sticking to your budget. You’ll be able to pay your premium on a regular basis, and you won’t be stuck with high bills when you visit the doctor, the lab, or the hospital.

When comparing these low-deductible plans with no-deductible ones, you’ll see that a low-deductible plan may give you more choice. You’ll be able to compare a wider variety of individual plans before making your final selection. The network of service providers may also be larger.

Choosing a No-Deductible Health Insurance Plan

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Since there’s a lot to consider when purchasing health insurance, you should take your time reading over the fine print. While you can’t predict exactly what could happen in a given year, you can think about any major health issues that you currently have or anticipate having.

If you think you might be going to the doctor frequently, you might want to take action to lower the bills you receive for each visit. A no-deductible plan is something to contemplate if you’d like to keep your health care costs (aside from your premiums) to a minimum.

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