Confused about what an annual deductible is? Not sure how it differs from a per medical condition excess? Here are the three key things you need to know about annual deductibles, and how they can simplify your health insurance plan.
At Now Health International we’ve recently enhanced our WorldCare plans, so we now have a simple annual deductible, rather than a per medical condition excess. We believe this will make our plans easier for members to understand, provide greater certainty about your cover, and give you greater freedom to tailor your plan to suit your budget. Here’s why…
1) You only need to pay once
An annual deductible means that you the customer, agree to pay for a set amount of any medical treatment you claim for each year, before the insurance plan kicks in. For example, if you choose a US$1000 annual deductible, you pay the first $1,000 of your covered medical treatment each year, and the insurer will pay for the rest.
A per medical condition excess works in a similar way, as you again agree to pay towards part of the cost of your treatment. However, rather than paying once per year, with an excess you have to pay every time you seek treatment for a different medical condition, meaning you may be out of pocket more than once.
2) It could help lower your premium
An annual deductible enables more cost-conscious customers to better manage their healthcare costs, depending on how much they’re prepared to pay if the worst happens and they do get sick.
Generally speaking, the higher the annual deductible, the lower the premium, so you easily choose the level of deductible that keeps your cover affordable. Make sure you opt for an amount that best suits your needs, depending on what is realistically affordable and your anticipated medical costs for the year.
If you’re relatively healthy and think it unlikely you’ll need to access expensive healthcare in the year ahead, then a high deductible could be a good option to help keep your premium down.
3) It gives you simplicity and certainty
The annual deductible provides greater simplicity, making it easier to understand exactly what you’re covered for in your plan, and what you’re not. As it is a fixed amount per year, it also gives you greater certainty about how much you need to pay out if you do get sick. This is different from the per medical condition excess, as the amount you pay will depend on how many medical conditions you need treatment for in that year.
With most health insurance plans, a per medical condition excess also means you are excluded from accessing out-patient direct billing, so you have to pay up front when you see a doctor. However for some insurance plans, including with Now Health International, the annual deductible enables members to access out-patient direct billing if they wish.
In summary, annual deductibles can help make it easier to understand your plan and cover, mean you only have to pay once, and could even help lower your premium. Find out more about our enhanced international health insurance WorldCare plan and annual deductibles here.