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CRASH Diet Plans for Women

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Jul 192012

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The Pitfalls of High-Deductible Health Plans

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Sep 302010

Kevin J. Fitzsimons for The New York Times Phil Derrow, CEO of Ohio Transmission Corportation, in the company’s distribution center.

Today’s Patient Money offers advice about high-deductible health plans.

At first glance, it can seem like a great deal. In exchange for picking up a larger share of their own health care costs, employees pay lower insurance premiums and are allowed to use pre-tax dollars to pay out-of-pocket costs. But many consumers embracing the plans have discovered there are pitfalls aplenty, including out-of-pocket expenses they cannot afford.

Is a high-deductible plan right for your family? To find out, read the full article, “High-Deductible Plans Grow, but Not Everyone Should Get on Board,” and then please join the discussion below.

E-mail ThisPrint ShareCloseLinkedinDiggFacebookMixxMy SpacePermalinkPatient Money,Patient Money Related PostsFrom WellThe Cost of Emergency Room CarePaying Extra Attention to Worker HealthUnderstanding Out-of-Pocket Medical CostsA New Option for the UninsuredPreparing to Leave the Hospital Previous postHaving Your Own Doctor on CallNext postBecoming an Empowered Patient10 Comments1. August 27, 2010 11:14 amLink

I have a HDHP and am happy with it, even though this is turning out to be one of those years where I am spending more of the deductible. On the whole, between the tax benefits and the lower premiums, since I’ve been on HDHP I have spent less for my health care than I would have on a traditional plan.

It’s been an eye opener on costs. A few years ago, I needed an MRI. I called up 3 places and got quotes ranging from $800 to $2000 for the same procedure. Guess where I went. It turned out just fine (it was a high-tech medical center where most of the big hospitals around the area send their patients).

The whole point of HDHPs is that people act more like normal consumers when shopping for health care. Thus, it takes a little more research, but you have far more flexibility since the plans usually allow self-referrals to specialists and decent out-of-network benefits while providing a preferred network of doctors with negotiated rates.

— KPO’M2. August 27, 2010 11:17 amLink

I’m afraid of those high-deductible plans. It’s not a big enough savings for me to worry about having to have so much more cash on hand (as much as $6000) to pay my out of pocket costs if my family gets sick or has an accident.

— Caitlin3. August 27, 2010 11:25 amLink

If they’re going to go after young people with no medical problems, they should include plans offered by large universities. For a low flat fee (less than $100 a semester) students can have unlimited visits to a health clinic staffed by real doctors and nurses, and a small co-pay for prescription drugs. This is the real way for preventative care, not this high deductible, HSA mumbo jumbo.

— David4. August 27, 2010 11:38 amLink

Crystal ball time: Out here in AZ, the so-called exchange for the uninsurable under Obamacare is $323 a mo and $2500 deductible. This is the one people will “get” to buy if they have been without coverage for 6 mos and turned down by another plan. Want to guess what the ones we will “have” to buy will be like, deductible-wise, when 2014 rolls around?

— Star5. August 27, 2010 11:40 amLink

Thanks for the timely and useful information of what is yet another wrinkle in the Ponzi-scheme we call health insurance in America.
The two parts of the article that jumped out at me were:

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