|Thinking About Health|
|Written by Trudy Lieberman, Rural Health News Service|
Facing the realities of high deductible insurance
Pat Mallett, a self-employed businessman in Littleton, had heard a lot about Obamacare and thought that a policy available in the new state shopping exchange would offer him a better deal than the coverage he had.
The policy that covered him, his wife and two teenage kids cost about $400 a month and came with a $5,000 deductible, which meant they paid cash for routine office visits and annual physicals—up to a total of $5,000 per year.
Mallett had heard the praise for Obamacare. “It sounded like I was going to do better, and it might be a good fit for me,” he said. So he let his policy lapse at the end of the year and started shopping. Much to his surprise, the premiums and deductibles for family coverage on the exchange were a lot higher.
“I didn’t believe what I was seeing,” he told me. He decided to focus his shopping on the products offered by Kaiser Permanente, a health plan that appealed to him because of its reputation for preventive care and controlling costs.
He looked at a bronze plan that would cost $821 a month. Deductibles were $10,000 for a family and $5,000 for each family member, and there was 30 percent coinsurance, a percentage of the bill he would have to pay on “practically everything.”
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