New Features of High Deductible Health Insurance

Here are some consumer tips from Pamela Yip of The Dallas Morning News (gated):

Fourth-quarter rollovers: If you contributed a lot toward your deductible at the very end of last year, it can feel unfair that you need to start all over again in January.

“Ask your insurer if they allow fourth-quarter rollovers,” said [Carrie McLean, consumer expert at] “That’s when the insurance company lets you count dollars paid toward your deducible in the last few months of the prior year against the new year’s deductible.”

Vanishing deductible: A new trend with some individual health insurance plans rewards healthy people who don’t see the doctor much and, consequently, don’t meet their deductible each year. This is also known as a deductible credit.

For example, if you didn’t meet your $10,000 deductible in 2011, your deductible this year could fall to $8,000.

Comments (3)

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  1. Devon Herrick says:

    I like the idea of insurers providing perks to people who carefully manage their deductible. Since insurance is all about transferring risk, people who illustrate they are working with their insurers to keep risks low should be rewarded.

  2. Brian says:

    I’ve heard people complain about this – people who didn’t know that their plan didn’t rollover in the 4th quarter.

  3. Don Levit says:

    These are great incentives when you are dealing with one plan, under the present system.
    Imagine having a plan worth $25,000-$50,000 where the premiums vanish!
    All that’s left is the catstrophic premium to pay at a 60-80% discount.
    This is the plan Milliman and my partners are working on – getting the actuarials for insurers to review.
    Don Levit