What Are Health Insurance Deductibles And How Do They Work?

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Health insurance is an important part of life for Americans, as it can cover medical bills and other costs related to health care. With health insurance, you will have to pay a deductible, which is an amount of money that you must pay before the insurance company will pay for any services. This can be confusing for many people, so let’s take a look at what health insurance deductibles are and how they work.

What is a Deductible?

A deductible is a set amount of money that you have to pay before insurance will kick in and cover the cost of a service or procedure. This amount can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars, depending on the type of insurance plan you have.

What Does a Deductible Cover?

A deductible covers the cost of services or procedures that are covered by your insurance plan. These can include doctor visits, hospital stays, lab tests, x-rays, prescriptions, and more. The amount of the deductible varies depending on the type of insurance plan you have.

How Does a Deductible Work?

Once you have met your deductible, your insurance company will start to cover the cost of services. This means that you will only be responsible for a portion of the cost, and the insurance company will cover the rest. However, the amount that the insurance company pays will depend on the type of plan you have. Some plans will cover the full cost of a service, while others may only cover a certain percentage.

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How Do I Know How Much I Need To Pay?

When you go to the doctor or hospital, you should ask how much you will need to pay for the service or procedure. The healthcare provider should be able to tell you how much of the cost is covered by your insurance, and how much you will be responsible for. Knowing this ahead of time can help you prepare for any out-of-pocket expenses.

Do I Have To Pay My Deductible Every Year?

No, you do not have to pay your deductible every year. Once you have met your deductible, you will not have to pay it again until the following year. However, if you switch insurance plans, you may have to start over and meet a new deductible.

Are There Other Costs I Should Be Aware Of?

Yes, there are other costs you should be aware of when it comes to health insurance. These include copayments, coinsurance, and out-of-pocket maximums. Copayments are a set fee that you must pay each time you receive a service. Coinsurance is a percentage of the cost of a service that you must pay, and the out-of-pocket maximum is the most amount of money you will have to pay out of pocket for a year.


Health insurance deductibles can be confusing, but they are an important part of your health insurance plan. Knowing what a deductible is and how it works can help you make the most of your health insurance and be prepared for any costs that may arise.