Traditional Health Insurance Plan and HDHP

Nov 08, 2023 By Triston Martin

When selecting a health insurance plan, knowing how much a trip to the primary care physician, a visit to a specialist, or surgery would set you back financially is important. Understanding your alternatives may help you prepare for the cost of health insurance and any expenditures it won't cover. Because the price of your healthcare can have a significant influence on your financial future, knowing your options is important.

Traditional and high-deductible health insurance plans are two of the most popular choices among today's consumers, even though many other types of health plans are available (HDHPs). While HDHPs have higher deductibles but lower premiums, traditional plans have lower out-of-pocket costs. Traditional plans also have higher premiums.

Plan Structures

A copayment structure, in addition to a deductible, is typical of standard health insurance plans. The plan partially covers your medicines, medical lab work, and doctor's costs. You can be responsible for paying copays, deductibles, and coinsurance if you have a typical health insurance plan.

After you have satisfied your deductible, you could be required to pay just the coinsurance, which is a percentage of the whole payment. If this is the case, you should check with your insurance provider. These plans also limit the amount of money you are responsible for paying on your own during any given year. The plan covers the remaining costs when your deductible and copayments have been exhausted for the year. It is in your best interest to choose a physician who is part of your insurance network whenever possible and to go to an office visit with that physician.

On the other hand, HDHP requires you to satisfy a large deductible before the plan begins paying its portion of the cost of your doctor's appointments, lab tests, and prescription drugs.


If you are worried about how much each plan may cost you, you could attempt to calculate the total cost of each plan by adding up the annual cost of each premium and the most you would have to pay out of pocket for that plan. This will give you a ballpark estimate of how much money you may spend on each plan. You must also consider the deductible since this will provide you with an estimate of the amount of money you will be required to pay at the beginning of the plan year.

Example of the Traditional Plan

Let's assume you had a typical plan with a monthly premium of $290, an annual deductible of $1,000, a coinsurance rate of 20%, and a maximum out-of-pocket cost of $2,000; we'll call this the "out-of-pocket maximum." This strategy would set you back a maximum of $5,480.

  • $290 x 12 = $3,480 + $2,000 = $5,480

You are responsible for paying copays and all charges until you meet your $1,000 deductible if you use this plan to its fullest extent and spend the most on it. After that, you will be responsible for paying 20% of the total expenses for the remaining $1,000 until your maximum out-of-pocket expense has been reached.

HDHP Example:

If you have a High Deductible Health Plan that costs $110 a month, has a deductible of $5,000, a coinsurance rate of 50%, and a maximum out-of-pocket cost of $8,000, you will end up paying no more than $9,320 for your medical care.

  • $110 x 12 = $1,320 + $8,000 = $9,320

You would be responsible for paying copays and other expenses incurred until you reached your $5,000 deductible if you used this plan to its fullest extent. After that, you will be responsible for paying fifty percent of the expenses associated with the remaining three thousand dollars until you reach your maximum out-of-pocket expense.

Which Is the Best Option for You?

When selecting a healthcare plan, you should base your decision on your requirements and financial constraints. If you visit the doctor somewhat often, you could find that traditional health plans, which have smaller deductibles, are the more suitable choice for you. It is also a viable option if you anticipate incurring significant medical expenses in the not-too-distant future, such as when you conceive a kid.

On the other hand, HDHPs come with a high deductible that you are required to reach before the plan would pay its portion of the cost for doctor's visits, laboratory testing, and prescription medications. They also have reduced premiums, which may result in financial savings throughout the policy. This might be an excellent choice if you are in good health and seeking a strategy to save money.

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