Surviving a high-deductible health plan

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

More and more people are signing up for high-deductible health insurance plans. Some are swayed by the lower monthly premiums. But often people don’t have a choice. A quarter of all employers offering insurance now only have plans with high deductibles.

You’re forced into a high-deductible plan, how can you afford the care you need?

First, use the tool on your insurance company’s website to check prices of treatments and procedures. The differences between providers can be enormous.

Also consider opening a health savings account. That’s an account where you put in pretax dollars, which you can use to pay your deductibles and other qualified healthcare expenses. And that is money that if you don’t spend it all this year, you can use it next year, too.

And be aware that a lot of preventative health services, such as colonoscopies and vaccinations, are free and don’t count toward your deductible.

If you are skipping medical care because you can’t afford the out-of- pocket costs, Consumer Reports recommends talking to your doctor. Doctors can often help you find less expensive prescriptions, diagnostic tests, and other health services.

Consumer Reports

Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports’ website. Subscribe to

All Consumer Reports Material Copyright © 2016 Consumers Union of U.S. Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization that does not accept advertising and does not have any commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site.

1 Comment

Comments are closed.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.