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Did You Know You Can Change Your Deductible?

Changing your deductible may be better than changing your policy altogether.

Written by: Andrew Hall.

Key Takeaways

  • A change in your health doesn’t have to mean a switch in your insurance. You may be able to adjust your plan’s deductibleA deductible is the amount you pay out of pocket before your insurance company covers its portion of your medical bills. For example: If your deductible is $1,000, your insurance company will not cover any costs until you pay the first $1,000 yourself..

  • Many health insurance companies allow you to keep the same health planHealth insurance is a form of insurance that covers a portion of your medical expenses. In exchange, you pay a monthly premium and other costs. and increase or decrease your deductible based on your needs.

  • Changing your deductible can increase or decrease your monthly premiumA premium is a fee you pay to your insurance company for a health plan coverage. This is usually a monthly cost..

A Perk of Individual Health Insurance

Here’s a little fact about health insurance that you may not know: Many health insurance companies offer plans with the same coverage and benefit levels but with a different deductible and monthly premium amount.

Picture this:

You love your current health plan, the doctor, the network and benefits. But then life changes, and you’re suddenly using your health insurance more. You need a lower deductible to minimize your overall health care spend. (This is a common occurrence when families expand, people age or health conditions are uncovered.)

You can choose a lower deductible on your health plan and keep your provider and benefit levels instead of switching plans. And if you don’t use your plan regularly, you can switch to a higher deductible too! This may save you money on premiums.

Changing Your Deductible Means Changing Your Premiums

If you decide to lower your annual deductible, your monthly health insurance premiums will increase. If you decide you want a plan with a higher deductible, the monthly premiums will decrease.

Is changing your deductible the right move for you?

If your health care needs (or those of your covered dependents) have changed and require you to use your health insurance more, it may be cost-effective for you to lower your deductible and pay higher monthly premiums.

Similarly, if you (or your covered dependents) use your health insurance less (i.e., mainly for well checks or routine visits), paying less money each month for a higher deductible makes sense.

Pro-Tip

Those looking to switch to a higher deductible: You may qualify for a Health Savings Account (HSA) if your plan is truly a High Deductible Health Plan. HSAs are an excellent way for you to set money aside for qualified health care expenses while also lowering your taxable income.

How do I change my deductible but keep my plan?

You can easily compare your plan with different deductible amounts by contacting a licensed GoHealth insurance agent, or by contacting your health insurance company to see if your plan’s deductible can be changed.

FAQs

Do health plan deductibles reset year after year?

  1. Your plan’s deductible resets on the renewal date of your policy. For example, if your health plan renews on May 1, your deductible would run from May 1st to April 30th of the following year, and reset on May 1.
  2. If you increase or decrease your deductible during the year, it will reset to the most recent deductible. You don’t have to worry about your deductible resetting to your old deductible after making a change.

What counts toward my deductible?

Your deductible is the amount you pay for most eligible medical services or medications before your health plan begins to pay a percentage of covered services. Depending on how your plan works, copays may count toward meeting your deductible.

What’s Next?