A no deductible health insurance may appeal to many individuals. But can health insurance have no deductibles? Read on for all you need to know.
A no deductible health insurance refers to a policy where insurers don’t have to pay a minimum amount before your insurance begins to pay for your healthcare expenses. Such policies are also called zero-deductible health plans.
Should you buy a zero-deductible health insurance plan?
The question now is should you buy a high-deductible health plan or a policy that comes with no deductibles at all. With high deductibles, you can lower the amount of your monthly premium expenditure. You can also open a Health Savings Account when you have a health insurance plan with a high-deductible amount. You can set aside a fixed amount of pre-tax money in this account for your health-related expenses. But high-deductibles make sense only when you are fairly healthy and do not expect any major health problems in the future. Whatever the deductible amount you agreed to must be paid first, only then can you get any benefits from your health insurance. You can choose higher or lower deductibles.
Most group health insurance plans through employers have zero deductibles. But for individuals, zero-deductible health insurance plans are not available in every state. So, you need to find out from your state’s insurance department whether or not no deductible health insurance plans are available.
If paying a low premium rate month after month is not important to you, it makes sense to look for zero-deductible plans. Also, if you expect regular hospital visits owing to your health, a no deductible health insurance can be useful for you. There is a maximum coverage option included in zero-deductible plans, which may differ for different providers.
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Are there any expenses involved in zero-deductible plans?
If you plan to buy a no deductible health insurance plan, you need to know about the costs that will be borne by you. Just because you won’t pay the deductible doesn’t mean there are no costs at all with zero-deductible plans.
First, there is the matter of co-payments, which are commonly referred to as copays. Now, what does no copay mean? Copays are the expenses you will pay for each medical-related costs incurred by you. Copayments are fixed. For example, you will need to pay $10 or $15 for visiting a doctor’s clinic or a certain amount for laboratory tests.
Co-insurance is another cost that comes with zero-deductible plans. It is a fixed percentage of costs that you need to bear from your own pocket. The amount is fixed at a lower percentage rate for the doctors in your network and higher for out-of-network doctors. Usually, the lower deductibles come with higher rates of co-insurance and co-payments. But co-insurance in zero-deductible plans is usually lower compared with policies with deductibles. Even the copays can be significant as you need to pay a fixed amount for every health-related expense.
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Are there any exceptions or exclusions in zero-deductible plans?
If you have a zero-deductible plan or are planning to buy one then find out beforehand about exclusions. Some companies exclude coverage for pregnancy or rehab treatments for nicotine addiction and such.
Some policies offer partial zero-deductible coverage even if you have a deductible plan. These can be for dental work, vision-related care, or certain prescriptions. To check if such plans make sense to you, notice the difference in premium amounts for different policies that offer partial or full zero-deductible plans.
Calculate all expenses you will need to bear against the benefits before buying a zero-deductible plan.