Medical debt is a very serious problem in the United States. A recent report shows that 32% of all American workers have excessive medical bills that they have defaulted on.
People without insurance are highly likely to incur excessive medical debt. Unfortunately, simply purchasing a health insurance plan is not going to necessarily solve the problem. You also need to make sure that you find the best health insurance for your needs.
There are a lot of different factors that you need to look at when purchasing a health insurance policy. You should start by looking at the network coverage. You want to make sure that you have a health plan that gives you access to the doctors and other healthcare providers in your area that you intend to work with.
Another factor that you need to pay close attention to is your deductible. A high deductible plan might be a good idea if you are in relatively good health. However, it could also be problematic if you are likely to need extensive healthcare in the future.
It is important to choose a plan with the right deductible. Many people choose high deductible plans to lower their premiums. Lower deductible plans tend to have higher premiums, which can be an issue if you don’t use your coverage. On the other hand, they might provide the right level of coverage.
Here are some factors that you will need to take into consideration when choosing a plan based on deductibles.
Extent of your health issues
The most important factor that you need to take into consideration when choosing a plan based on deductibles is any known or suspected health problems that you or your family members have. It is a virtual certainty that you are going to incur more medical expenses if you have serious health problems.
Some health conditions might not lead to a need for greater medical care. Mild problems like asthma or fasciitis might not be an issue if you have a low deductible health plan. On the other hand, you are almost certainly going to run up much higher healthcare bills if you are suffering from diabetes, heart disease or other significant health problems, which can be an issue for both you and the hospital if you have a plan with a high deductible. It isn’t necessarily a guarantee that you will have higher healthcare bills if you have obesity, but there is a strong probability that you will.
Size of your family
When you purchase a health insurance plan, your deductible is going to be correlated with the size of your family. It is not going to be a perfect one-to-one correlation, but you will see that it generally increases as your family size grows.
This is something that you need to reflect upon carefully when choosing a plan. When there are more people under your plan, the probability of having a medical emergency is going to grow. There is a greater likelihood that you were going to incur more medical debt.
You also need to consider the ages and personalities of your family members. If you have younger children that are highly accident prone, then the likelihood they will end up in the emergency room is going to be higher. It is important to think about this when you are buying a health insurance plan.
Your ability to make the most of high deductible plans
High deductible plans might seem like a burden for many people, especially if they need to use their healthcare providers frequently. However, some people that enroll in healthcare plans know how to make the most of their deductible requirements.
You might be smart about finding healthcare providers that charge the lowest rates, so you are able to avoid pricey bills even if you are on the hook for them. You may also realize that many long-term treatments could be compounded into a single year, which means that your health plan will have to cover most of them. If you have a $5,000 deductible, then it makes sense to get $15,000 worth of coverage in a single year, rather than spreading it out over three years. This means that you would get $10,000 worth of treatment covered by your insurance, rather than not having any covered by your insurer at all.