This week we continue our pre-Benefits Open Enrollment series to help you get to know the benefits available to you. We’ve created the fact sheet below with information that may be helpful if you’re considering moving from a standard health plan to a high deductible health plan (HDHP). Click the link below to download the fact sheet. I’ve also outlined some of the information below.
Standard Plans vs. HDHPs
Standard plans and HDHPs are set up much in the same way. Under both plans, the member pays a premium for coverage. Both must cover preventive services free of charge. If a member receives nonpreventive medical care, he or she pays a deductible?a specified amount of money that the insured must pay before an insurance company will pay a claim. The chief difference between the plans is that under an HDHP, premium payments are considerably lower and the deductible is considerably higher.
Health Savings Accounts
HSAs are one of several types of tax-advantaged health accounts, and are exclusively available to people enrolled in an HSA-compliant HDHP.
With an HSA, the account holder or his or her employer (usually both) make contributions into a savings account. No taxes are deducted from money placed into the account, as the HSA contribution is withdrawn from a paycheck before taxes are assessed. While in the savings account, the money can earn interest. The employee is free to spend that money on qualified medical expenses.
Using Health Care with an HDHP
Because of the high deductibles associated with HDHPs, having an HDHP means you need to become a smart health care shopper.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that some types of health care products and services cost much more than similar items, and the more expensive option may not be necessary for the treatment you require.
Additionally, like most other health plans, HDHPs cover preventive services at no cost. Preventive care is defined as medical checkups and tests, immunizations and counseling services used to prevent chronic illnesses from occurring. Preventive care not only keeps you healthy, but it can also monitor and even reduce the risk of developing future, costly health problems.
As always, please feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any benefits-related questions. And be sure to look for more from our KNOW YOUR BENEFITS series next week.