It’s Open Enrollment season. For you this means settling in the drivers seat, and choosing your healthcare plan and benefits for the year ahead. Whether you have enrolled in a HDHP before, here is some guidance to help you make an informed decision.
The number of U.S. employers offering a high-deductible health insurance plan as the only insurance plan option for their employees has jumped by 50% in the past two years alone. Because of this massive shift, rooted in legislative changes from the Affordable Care Act, one out of every five U.S. residents is enrolled in a high-deductible health plan, or , and this number is likely to continue to grow in the future.
Prior to the nationwide shift to HDHP, these types of plans were uncommon and often unfamiliar territory for many consumers. With change, often comes fear, but the opportunity that HDHP plans provide to consumers to take control of their healthcare is difficult to overlook.
HDHP plans provide further engage consumers with their health services, while also lowering premiums, often leading to a reduced use of unnecessary health care services overall. Consumers can visit doctors of their choosing without a referral. While in-network professionals are available at a lower cost, like all health plans, consumers are not limited from seeing those out-of-network.
Additionally, those with HDHP plans have the option to enroll in a Health Savings Account, or HSA, one of the greatest benefits of this type of plan. Bills are bound to come your way from medical expenses, but an HSA allows you to contribute tax free money to cover these expenses, lowering your financial burden, while also gathering interest on the money you have saved in the account year-over-year. Money can be withdrawn from your account to pay for qualified medical expenses and in addition to contributing yourself, employers often contribute money annually to their employee’s HSA. HSAs are yours for life, so even if you change jobs, the money in your account will still be accessible.
While premiums are lower with a HDHP, it can be intimidating to see such a high number for a deductible. Unlike traditional plans, the annual deductible must be met before plan benefits kick in. But preventative care, think annual physicals, flu shots, skin cancer screenings, and biometric screenings, are all 100% covered. While we all aim to be healthy, should a catastrophic medical event occur, there is a cap on what you will be required to pay out-of-pocket.
As with any healthcare plan, it can be difficult to manage expenses, contributions, and payments. HealthExpense is the consumer’s one-stop shop for keeping track of healthcare costs, budgets, and payments. Our team is devoted to improving healthcare by making its murky waters simple to navigate, and by helping consumers find savings opportunities to make their healthcare more affordable.
Because healthcare costs are rising rapidly – by about 5% each year – you may have considered switching to a high-deductible health insurance plan to save money and enroll in an HSA. Whatever your reason for choosing a high-deductible health plan, HealthExpense is here to help keep your records in order, gain complete clarity on your bills, and know what you are paying for down to the last cent. Visit HealthExpense today to get started.