Top Tips for Selecting Healthcare Plans — Higher Premiums vs Higher Deductibles

\"TopThe physicians at Colorado Primary Health Care understand the confusion and frustration patients experience during open enrollment, which runs from October thru the end of the year. It is common for patients to simply opt for the less-expensive monthly payments, but the risks of such are often overlooked.

While the High Premium Plans may initially deter patients, one should seriously consider the benefits. Because preventative care is covered, such as procedures like colonoscopies, general screenings, annual check–ups, etc, these types of tests and procedures do not apply towards the deductible. Higher premium plans offer both predictable costs and higher coverage. Keep in mind, in cases where preventative care is covered by insurance, patients are more likely to seek said care, and thus less likely to need more expensive procedures that come with waiting to treat symptoms, or treating ailments that go unnoticed due to lack of preventative care. Additionally, higher premium plans also tend to offer Health Savings Accounts (HSA) in which you can deposit funds pretax to be invested and earn interest, or spent on qualifying medical expenses. HSA’s must follow rules set forth by the IRS relating to minimum deductibles and out–of–pocket–spending, so make sure to research your plan thoroughly to fully understand what type of HSA’s you may or may not qualify for.

High Deductible Plans vary greatly from case–to–case, and offer less stability financially. Patients are encouraged to research their medical care options to ensure the lowest price–point with coverage that needs their needs, but many skip this step when seeking care and end up paying considerably more because of it. A lot of these plans do not cover preventive care; when reviewing options for these plans, consider your medical history and review what is and isn’t covered to best choose what tailors to your respective situation. Simply opting for the least expensive option may end up being more costly. Emergencies should be taken into consideration, as these happen when least expected, and usually during the most inopportune times, financially speaking.

Status of Obamacare
These health insurance policies and plans were established to help people get insurance who could not afford it otherwise, but generally these offerings are bare–boned and have fewer benefits when compared to someone who gets their insurance through an employer. These plans are also more likely to have higher deductibles and co-pays, as well as prescription drug costs. When reviewing coverage options, remember that while particular plans may be cheaper, there is a reason they are less expensive—likely related to coverage.

When you visit an outpatient primary care doctor, it will almost always cheaper than seeking the same care at an urgent care facility, as these tend to have medical bills that are double or more in price. The same is true for emergency care facilities, as prices can quadruple or more for the same treatment you would receive at a primary care physician. If you, instead, visit your primary care doctor, you are less likely to endure—and pay for—unnecessary testing, and the root of your symptoms will be addressed. At the ER—which should be visited in emergency, life–threatening situations—patients are treated based on immediate exhibiting symptoms, rather than the symptoms being thoroughly explored. For the same, if not better, service, it is going to be significantly cheaper to visit your primary care physician than the emergency room and urgent care.

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Littleton, CO 80120

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