No-Deductible Health Insurance: What You Need to Know – ValuePenguin

No deductible health insurance policies are zero deductible health care plans that allow coinsurance and copayment benefits to begin immediately. These plans may be a good option if you expect high medical expenses during the policy year. Health insurance with no deductible typically has a higher monthly premium, but it allows you to avoid some out-of-pocket costs and can help you save money on total annual expenses.

Is an insurance plan with no deductible right for me?

Zero deductible health insurance can be a great option if you expect high medical costs. By paying higher monthly rates for a plan with no deductible, you could save money in the long run if you expect to need significant health care services in the next year, like expensive procedures or recurring treatments.

Reading: What does 0 deductible mean in health insurance

No-deductible plans aren’t right for everyone because there’s a trade-off in costs. Generally, the lower the deductible, the higher the monthly cost of the plan. That’s why plans with no deductible can be the most expensive policies available.

what is a health insurance plan without a deductible?

A policy with no insurance deductible means you get all of your plan’s cost-sharing benefits right away. you won’t have to pay a certain amount out of pocket before the insurance company starts paying for covered medical services.

For example, if you had a covered medical procedure that cost $2,500, a plan with no deductible would mean that the insurance company would pay the full fee for the procedure beginning on the first day of your policy. if you had the same medical procedure and your insurance plan had a $1,000 deductible, you would pay the first $1,000 of the cost before the insurer contributed to the cost.

how does a plan without deductible work?

The biggest difference between health insurance with no deductible and other types of health insurance is when the insurer starts paying for covered medical services. With a plan with no deductible, cost sharing starts right away, but with other plans, cost sharing starts after she pays out-of-pocket up to her deductible amount. this time may affect the total cost she will pay each year for care.

The structure of the health insurance plan will be similar to the structure of plans that have deductibles, and there will still be some out-of-pocket costs and other rules. Here are the basics of how no-deductible plans work:

what should you consider when choosing a health insurance without deductible?

Some plans with no deductible are offset by high copays. If the monthly fee for a plan without a deductible seems too good to be true, look for possible downsides, such as a very high cost per doctor visit or a limited number of providers with in-network fees.

what metal level do you have plans with no deductibles?

When purchasing a policy through the health insurance marketplace, plans with no deductible can be found in all metal levels, including bronze, silver, gold, and platinum.

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The general rule of thumb is that gold and platinum plans have lower deductibles than silver or bronze plans. however, we have recently seen new plans added in some places, including bronze and silver zero-deductible policies. these plans are ranked lower due to a different aspect of coverage, such as a high out-of-pocket maximum, limited network, high coinsurance, or something else.

for example, when comparing select health insurance policies with no deductible in texas, the copay for an in-network x-ray is $70 with a gold plan, $80 with a silver plan, and $140 with a bronze plan.

what is the average cost of health insurance without a deductible?

No deductible and low deductible health plans cost $592 to $678 per month on average. Annually, this would add $7,104 to $8,136 in premiums paid for these insurance plans. however, your exact cost will depend on your circumstances and the health insurer you choose.

comparison of cost scenarios for insurance without deductible

When comparing health insurance plans, remember that the amount of your policy’s deductible can affect the total amount you pay for health care each year. This is especially important when comparing health plans with no deductible to other types of health insurance.

To explore how insurance with no deductible can affect what you pay for health care, let’s look at two sample scenarios: one where the person needed expensive medical treatment, and the other with a person who had minimal health care needs. .

calculations show how plans with no deductible are more suitable for those with high medical expenses.

scenario: significant health care needs

In a situation where you expect to need significant medical care or expensive procedures, paying more in monthly premiums can help lower your overall costs.

In the scenario above, the person with the plan without a deductible is paying $650 per month for health insurance, which adds up to a total of $7,800 per year. they do not need to pay anything for a deductible before their benefits take effect. however, they will continue to pay the standard copays or coinsurance for doctor visits or treatment. this puts the annual cost of medical care at less than $8,000 with a plan without a deductible.

If someone with the same circumstances had a high-deductible plan, their total annual health care costs would be more than $11,000. that includes monthly bills of $386 and an additional $6,500 for covered services before you meet your deductible.

choosing the plan without deductible would save the person in this situation $3332.

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In the second example below, you’ll see how the calculations differ if the person doesn’t need major health care services. In this case, choosing a plan without a deductible would be paying more.

scenario: low health care needs

Because this person does not have high medical costs, it would not be worth paying $650 per month for health insurance with no deductible. they would be paying high up-front premium costs without using the benefits of lower out-of-pocket costs. In this situation, the individual would save $3,168 by choosing a high-deductible plan that costs $386 per month.

what should you take into account when choosing insurance without a deductible?

Health insurance plans with no deductible are generally ideal for people who have high medical costs expected for the year. however, they are generally not the cheapest health insurance plans on the market. Here are some factors to consider and to help you decide if a plan with no deductible is the best option for you:

Are health insurance plans with no deductible popular?

Due to high monthly costs, insurance plans with no deductible are less popular than other plans that have lower monthly costs. only about 17% of the national workforce has zero-deductible health insurance.

By comparison, high-deductible plans are much more common, with 51% of the population enrolled in plans with deductibles greater than $1,400 for individuals or $2,800 for families.

High deductible plans are even more common for those who buy health insurance through the individual market. however, the lure of these plans’ low monthly payments could leave some people underinsured and unprotected from major health expenses.

can you get short-term health insurance with no deductible?

While you can find short-term health insurance plans with low deductibles, it’s rare to find policies with no deductible due to how this type of insurance coverage is structured.

deductibles for short-term health insurance are generally higher than for traditional health insurance plans because the focus of short-term plans is to fill in gaps in coverage, such as when you change jobs or before open enrollment. Because they are not designed for long-term coverage, some short-term health insurance plans may have deductibles of up to $10,000.

Our pick for the best low deductible short term health insurance company is Pivot Health. This insurer offers one of the lowest deductibles in the market, starting at $1,000.

frequently asked questions


Typical costs for low-deductible and no-deductible plans were based on the 2022 average price for a 40-year-old who purchases a gold or platinum level plan on the health insurance marketplace. Cost data was obtained through the Centers for Medicare & public use medicaid services (cms) files.

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