Differences Between a Deductible and Coinsurance
Deductibles and coinsurance are both forms of cost-sharing in health insurance. They are designed to help spread the cost of healthcare between the insured and the insurance company. However, there are some key differences between the two.
A deductible is a fixed amount of money that you must pay for covered medical expenses before your health insurance begins to pay. Once you have met your deductible, your health insurance will pay for a portion of your covered expenses, up to your policy’s maximum benefit.
For example, if your deductible is $1,000 and you have an $800 doctor’s bill, you will be responsible for paying the entire $800 bill yourself. However, if you have a $2,000 doctor’s bill, you will only be responsible for paying the first $1,000, and your health insurance will pay the remaining $1,000.
Coinsurance is a percentage of the cost of covered medical expenses that you pay after you have met your deductible. For example, if your coinsurance is 20%, you will pay 20% of the cost of your covered expenses, and your health insurance will pay the remaining 80%.
So, if your coinsurance is 20% and you have a $500 doctor’s bill, you will be responsible for paying $100 (20% of $500), and your health insurance will pay the remaining $400.
Here is a table summarizing the key differences between deductibles and coinsurance:
|Timing||Paid before insurance kicks in||Paid after deductible is met|
|Applicability||Applies to all covered expenses||Applies to specific covered expenses|
|Example||You pay $1,000 before insurance pays anything||You pay 20% of a $500 doctor’s bill ($100)|
Which is Better?
The best type of cost-sharing for you will depend on your individual circumstances. If you are generally healthy and don’t expect to have many medical expenses, you may want to choose a high-deductible plan with lower premiums. However, if you have a chronic condition or expect to have a lot of medical expenses, you may want to choose a plan with a lower deductible, even if it means paying higher premiums.
It is also important to consider your out-of-pocket maximum, which is the most you will have to pay for covered medical expenses in a year. Plans with lower deductibles typically have higher out-of-pocket maximums, and vice versa.
Deductibles and coinsurance are both important parts of health insurance. Understanding how they work can help you make informed decisions about your healthcare coverage.