Is A High Deductible Health Plan The Right Choice For You?

Canadians benefit from a high-quality public health care system, but it’s important to consider private health insurance if you want to make sure that your family has the best level of protection. A high deductible health plan is one way that you can save money, but this type of insurance may not suit everyone. Learn more about how high deductible health plans work and how to decide if this type of insurance is a good choice for you and your family.

How high deductible plans work

A high deductible plan is a way of sharing some of the risk of healthcare costs with your provider. If your plan has no deductible, the insurer is liable for any costs that you incur within your benefit limits. With a deductible, your insurer only has to pay costs after you have paid an agreed amount. For example, if your annual deductible is $1,000, you will have to pay the first $1,000 toward the cost of treatment, under any circumstance. Once you have paid $1,000, the insurer then picks up the bill.

High deductible plans are cheaper than other types of insurance. The insurer is able to lower the cost of the premium because the company has less liability overall. Clients can often choose from a range of deductibles. Some of the highest deductibles can significantly cut the cost of your plan, but this isn’t always the right choice for customers.

Evaluating your medical risk

Your family’s medical history is one of the most important considerations with any high deductible plan. A high deductible is often a good approach to insurance if you don’t expect to make many claims. While nobody can see into the future, you can decide how likely it is that you will claim based on previous experience.

For example, it’s more likely that a member of your family will need to claim for treatment if he or she has a chronic medical condition. It’s important to remember that you may need a private plan to cover the cost of some treatment types and prescription medicines that the public health care system doesn’t cover. On an ongoing basis, these costs can quickly mount up, and a high annual deductible means that you may incur sizable costs before your insurer starts to pay.

Budgeting for health insurance

A high deductible health plan can seem affordable, but it’s important to budget carefully by taking into account the potential cost of treatment. For many patients, it’s advisable only to commit to a deductible that you can afford to pay in a single month. For example, if your deductible is $1,000, do you have access to $1,000 that you could pay out if a member of your family needs treatment that isn’t available on the public health care system?

It’s also important to consider other costs. For example, as well as an annual deductible, some treatments may incur a co-payment per visit. Co-payments include a fixed fee per visit (for example, $25) or a percentage fee per visit. Some high deductible plans still feature a co-payment on certain treatment types. Talk to your insurer, and make sure you understand the ‘real’ cost of your plan.

Eligibility for public health care

High deductible health plans are not always a good fit for people who do not yet have full entitlement to public health care. According to which part of Canada you live in, there are often set waiting times before you can claim for treatment on the public system. As such, if you are a newcomer to Canada, a high deductible plan may not meet your needs because you are more likely to make a claim. Check with the health authority in your province or territory for more details.

High deductible health plans are a popular choice with families looking to cut the cost of private health insurance. Like any type of insurance, you should always make sure that a plan meets your needs. Talk to your insurance company if you are unsure. If you will be traveling around Canada on a fequent basis, you might also want to purchase Meyers Travel Insurance as well.

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