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High Deductile Health Plans (HDHP)

Sorting through the pros and cons of all the different health insurance plans out there is beyond time consuming. It’s becoming harder to decipher between the services really needed versus the variety of benefits of each plan. High Deductible Health Plans are one of the most attractive plans that directs the cost-conscious consumer into a more affordable health plan. An HDHP has many similarities to other health plans available on the market, but its major distinguishing feature is the high deductible and low premium. The promise of low monthly premiums, coupled with the many benefits of a Health Savings Account (HSA) has made HDHP an alluring health insurance plan for the working class.

As the name of this type of plan suggests, the managed care provider generally sets the deductible very high. The deductible in some cases can be as high as $5,000. This means that any cost incurred up to the deductible is an out-of-pocket expense paid by the policyholder. High Deductible Health Plans can save a great deal of money on a monthly basis. At the point that an emergency or illness arises, the cost of doctor's visits and tests can add up very quickly up to the deductible. It is important to note that even though the payments will be lower monthly, it may not be feasible to pay what could be thousands for the deductible. It may factor out to be more costly especially if you need medical care immediately after getting your new policy. Fortunately, the HDHP is adjustable at any time. So you can pay more monthly if you feel the need to.

This is the reason that HDHPs are usually paired with a Health Savings Account. An HSA is in fact, only available to individuals choosing these High Deductible Plans as a tax-exempt benefit for choosing to be more personally responsible for healthcare choices. The general idea is that these plans will "unclog" the US healthcare system to a degree, possibly saving money in the long run. Regardless, patients who choose this kind of plan accept a great deal of responsibility, both financially and personally, for their healthcare choices and costs.

There is more paperwork required of a HDHP policyholder than there is of, say an HMO subscriber. In many other plans, the managing organization/health insurance company files the vast majority of paperwork between themselves and doctors’ offices. High Deductible Plan subscribers, however, must generally file their own paperwork and deal directly with medical billing departments.

Not everyone would get the most out of High Deductible Health Plans nor would they be able to handle the potential mass amount of paperwork. Responsible citizens benefit most from this plan paired with a Health Savings Account. The HSA has the potential to add up over time, like an IRA, and provide tax-free withdrawals as long as it is used to pay for qualified health costs like medical visits, checkups, immunizations, or emergency care. It is important to review all the plans available as many insurance companies will only show you plans that work best for them.

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