Health Insurance Deductible
A Health Insurance Deductible is the amount you must pay first before the policy starts reimbursing your expenses. The higher the deductible, the cheaper the health insurance premium enabling you to save money. There are two forms…
The Annual Health Insurance Deductible:
This structure is an annual amount which your claim expenses must exceed before you can be reimbursed. For example, if your deductible was $2000 and you first claim was $1000 then you would file your expenses but the insurer would not reimburse anything. If your 2nd claim was $2000 then would get a $1000 reimbursement. On your 3rd and subsequent claims you would get 100% reimbursement to policy limits or maximum sum insured.
The Per Claim Deductible:
Starts typically at the $100 per claim amount and progresses to higher amounts. This deductible is levied per course of treatment. So if you had an outpatient claim where you had to visit multiple times you would only pay once.
Your Strategy my Preference: For an inpatient or major medical hospital treatment only plan, you definitely want an annual deductible in my opinion. This is because you can get really low premiums with a high deductible, much lower than is achievable on a per-claim deductible plan with much higher deductible amounts like $10,000 per year. For a plan with outpatient benefits, also a low annual deductible is better than a per claim deductible, especially if you have a young family and are visiting outpatient clinics frequently.
All American International Health Insurance Policies have annual deductibles whereas most British policies have per claim deductible structures.
Other types of fees Coinsurance and Copay:
Coinsurance is a percentage amount seen only on some American and Caribbean policies. Typically 20%. A policy that has 20% coinsurance only pays 80% of expenses. So if your hospital bill is $100,000 you will have to ante up $20,000. Copay is a fixed small deductible amount per visit or per prescription and is seen on domestic US policies but not typically on international medical insurance plans.