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IBX Insights

Your Health Insurance Deductible Explained

By November 12, 2020February 18th, 2021Health Insurance
A couple examines papers and a laptop in their kitchen

There are a lot of important things to consider when you’re shopping for health insurance, including:

  • What doctors and hospitals will you be able to use?
  • How much will you pay when you need care?
  • Does your health plan have a deductible?

Before you pick a health insurance plan, be sure you understand the basics — especially when it comes to your health insurance deductible. Deductible amounts vary greatly from plan to plan, and those differences can have a major impact on your bottom line.

How Does Your Health Insurance Deductible Affect What You Pay for Care?

A health insurance deductible is the amount you pay each year for covered health care services before your health plan starts to share the costs. For example, if your health plan has a $1,000 deductible, you will need to pay for the first $1,000 of the costs for the services you receive. Once you have paid this amount, your insurance will begin to pay for some or all of your health care services, depending on the health plan.

Keep in mind that a deductible may only apply to certain covered services. For instance, most health plans are required to cover preventive care, immunizations, and health screenings before you meet your deductible.

You Shouldn’t Have to Choose Between Your Health and Your Budget

Deductibles have gotten a lot of attention in recent years, with good reason. Articles have reported that some people overlook the amount and conditions of deductibles when choosing their health plan just to save on their monthly premium. But in the end, they skipped getting care because they couldn’t afford the out-of-pocket costs.

When shopping for a health plan, be sure to find out important details about the deductible. Ask:

  • Is there a deductible? You don’t have to settle for a health plan with a deductible. Independence offers high-quality no-deductible health plans.
  • How much is the deductible? Decide what you can afford out-of-pocket before your insurer covers your health care costs.
  • What services does the deductible apply to? If your deductible applies to services you or your family use often, you may want to look for a different health plan.

These factors are something Independence considers when we create our individual health plan options.

Independence Blue Cross Offers Low- and No-Deductible Health Plans!

If you’re looking for health insurance with low out-of-pocket costs, consider a Keystone HMO Silver Proactive health plan. Keystone HMO Silver Proactive and Keystone HMO Silver Proactive Select members have NO deductible for any services when they use Tier 1 – Preferred providers.

While all doctors and hospitals in our network must meet high quality standards, providers in Tier 1 – Preferred offer services at a lower cost. And Tier 1 – Preferred includes more than 50 percent of in-network doctors and hospitals.

The bottom line is this: If you’re looking to save money this year, consider your total cost of care, including the health plan’s deductible. Need a change? Start by comparing our health plans online. Independence offers the most options, so you can find a plan that best fits your needs and budget.


Paula Sunshine

Paula Sunshine is senior vice president and chief marketing executive at Independence Blue Cross. She oversees all commercial and consumer marketing activities, including digital assets such as and the IBX mobile app. Ms. Sunshine earned a bachelor of arts degree in mathematics from Emory University and a master of business administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.