What is the best health insurance you can buy? Do lower co-pays make it better? What about the deductible and co-insurance portion? Oh, that’s right. Since they never seem to come into play, they don’t matter.
The old Major Medical plans had a deductible and maybe some co-insurance that included all medical expenses whether inpatient, outpatient, physician office visits, or prescription medications. Since co-pays are affordable, these plans are far superior to the old Major Medical designs…Or are they?
NY Times Article – “Co-Payments Soar for Drugs With High Prices”
Robin Steinwand had been paying $20 a month for her multiple sclerosis drug, which she keeps in the refrigerator. When she went to pick up her prescription in January, it cost $325.
Some people think an HSA qualified High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) is a new concept. In reality it is an old design that was used long before co-pays encouraged people to use health insurance like it was a never-ending pot of money. Since most HSA qualified plan designs we recommend have their calendar year deductible (averaging around $2,500 per year for an individual), then cover all qualified medical expenses at 100% for the rest of the calendar year, these plans frequently offer the lowest out-of-pocket risk of any plan design.
Robin Steinwand would have loved to have a plan that covered her prescription medication at 100% once she satisfied her calendar year deductible. Now her co-pay plan is costing her almost $4000 this year just for one of her prescription drugs. This doesn’t include any other medications, physician visits or procedures that would require additional co-pays, deductible or co-insurance.
Oh, I almost forgot. HDHPs are typically 20% to 60% lower monthly premiums!
HSA qualified HDHPs offer the best health insurance value available today.