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What is No-Deductible Health Insurance?

By A. Leverkuhn
Updated May 16, 2024
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No-deductible health insurance is a kind of health insurance that doesn’t include a required up front payment by the enrolled member each year. Rather than making the subscriber meet a minimum balance, health insurance with no deductible means the health insurance company will make payments up front, paying out for doctor visits, emergency care, or other events. The down side is that having this kind of policy means those who receive the insurance will generally pay more for it than they would if it included a health insurance deductible.

A lot of no-deductible health insurance plans are employer-based healthcare plans. There are many key differences between the majority of employer-based plans, and most of the self purchased health insurance plans on the market. One main difference is that employer-based plans are forced to cover active employees, where self-purchased plans can deny an applicant for many reasons. With employer-based plans, the higher costs to the individual subscriber, who is the employee, are offset by the fact that the employer is most often paying part of the cost of the policy.

On the other side of the spectrum, some self-purchased plans are the opposite of no-deductible health insurance. High-deductible plans make the subscriber pay up to several thousand for any medical care in a given year. The positive side to these plans is that premiums tend to be lower, and if the health care costs exceed a certain cap (the deductible plus other related costs) the health insurance will pay additional costs, allowing families to estimate their maximum annual out of pocket cost, and budget for medical emergencies. These kind of high-deductible plans are called “catastrophic” health insurance plans.

In a rush to anticipate possible changes related to recent healthcare reform, a lot of insurance companies are changing the way they pursue policy offerings to consumers. Some of the newer plans may be no-deductible health insurance, and some may include significant deductibles. Both kinds of options will appeal to a certain kind of consumer or household, depending on how people like to budget their medical expenses

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Discussion Comments
By anon989216 — On Feb 25, 2015

We are all being forced into deductible health insurance now that Obamacare has taken effect and it is terrible. It is a tax! I just went to the doctor for a cold, wasn't there for more than 10 minutes and I get a bill in the mail for $110! My company health insurance didn't pay for anything and they are still taking money out of my check for this so-called health insurance!

By Animandel — On Feb 13, 2014

Drentel - I agree it would be the best situation if everyone had no-deductible health insurance. However, I think the high-deductible policies serve a vital role in this not-perfect world. At least with these policies, people don't have to go to the doctor or hospital without any coverage.

In my experience, I have found that many people don't go see a doctor or go to the hospital when they are ill because they are worried about paying the medical bills and they have no insurance. The so-called cheap health insurance policy motivates more people to make those visits to the doctor and take better care of themselves. This benefits us all.

By Drentel — On Feb 12, 2014
In a perfect world, we would all have no deductible affordable health insurance and our employers would be paying most of the cost. Since this is not the case, here is how I look at health coverage.

When you're young and in good health, opt for the higher deductible rather than paying the higher premiums that come with a no-deductible policy. This may come back to bite you, but the odds are in your favor. Chances are that as a healthy young person you won't be spending large amounts of money on medical bills.

Once you have kids, you can count on a few visits to the medical center. With kids, chances are you will be better off paying the extra cost in premiums rather than getting stuck with a large bill because of a high deductible.

By the time the kids are out of the house and off the insurance policy, you are no longer young, and probably not as healthy. This being said, you should stick with the low deductible as you move into old age.

That's just my opinion.

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