High-Deductible Insurance Plans and the ACA

High-Deductible Insurance Plans and the ACA


by Don Ingwerson

Recently the Committee on Publication Federal Office posted new information on high-deductible insurance plans and how they fit in with the Affordable Care Act. I hope you find this information helpful as you go forward with any possible search for health insurance. To read this article on the original site, click here: High-deductible insurance plans and the ACA.

High-deductible plans (also sometimes called “catastrophic” or “self-directed” plans) have become a popular option for obtaining emergency, safety net-type coverage for large, unforeseen health care expenses. Monthly premiums for these policies are lower than for other health plans because the annual deductibles are higher. The potential downside to such plans is that if you incur a health expense in a particular plan year, you may have to pay more out-of-pocket until your deductibles are satisfied and the insurance kicks in.

Some high-deductible plans called “HSA-compatible health plans” can also be combined with health savings accounts (HSAs), which can be used to pay for qualified health care expenses not covered by your health plan, and might include care by Christian Science practitioners, Christian Science nurses, and Christian Science nursing facilities.*

When it comes to the ACA, some levels of high-deductible coverage will satisfy the law’s qualification standards, and some won’t. Many states offer coverage options to the public generally that are considered “catastrophic” and that meet the ACA’s requirements. Some of the options may only be available to those under the age of 30 or with low incomes and have more limited coverage. You can learn what plans are available to you on your state’s online insurance exchange.

*Please note that some high-deductible coverage is compatible for using in conjunction with a health savings account (HSA) and some is not. If you are interested in pairing high-deductible coverage with an HSA, you will want to verify that the coverage is an HSA-compatible health plan. It should reference “HSA” somewhere in the plan name or description, but it would also be good to verify that in writing with the insurance carrier.

About the author

Don Ingwerson Don regularly blogs on health and spirituality and lives in Laguna Beach with his wife - both Christian Science practitioners. He brings his years serving the public in education to his work as a liaison of Christian Science, where he maintains contacts with the media and legislative offices.