January 17, 2012 11:27 ET
GoHealth: How to Use a Health Insurance Deductible in 2012
CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - January 17, 2012) - No matter what type of health insurance coverage a consumer may have, every year they start from scratch with their deductible. Whether consumers reached their deductible in 2011 or not, they should definitely devise a plan on how to get the most out of their deductible this year.
Here are some things to remember for 2012:
- Don't put off health care services if you need them. Reaching the deductible earlier in the year gives consumers more time to receive coverage for services. This will also help avoid the last minute skirmish in December to get surgery or utilize other medical services before the end of the year.
- For those with a high deductible plan that is compatible with a Health Savings Account (HSA), open the account early in the year. The funds in a HSA collect interest over time so obviously it's better to open a HSA sooner rather than later.
- Realize there may be a different deductible to meet for the whole family versus a deductible for an individual family member.
- Find a plan with a deductible credit. Some health insurance companies offer plans that give people a credit if they don't meet their deductible. For example, Susan didn't meet her $10,000 deductible in 2011, so in 2012 she now has an $8,000 deductible. This is a great benefit for any consumer who doesn't use health care services frequently.
- Understand whether a deductible can be applied for certain services. In fact, a deductible cannot be used for some services subject to a copayment. This would include a copayment from a visit with a primary care physician or an urgent care center. Health insurers supply a coverage list and note if the deductible will be utilized.
For more information about understanding a deductible and other parts of a health insurance policy take a look at this infographic, GoHealth Dissects a Health Plan.