High-deductible health plans (HDHPs) represent an emerging type of healthcare coverage. In today’s ‘age of information’ – consumers desire a deep understanding of each type of plan they are eligible for. Laying all your cards out on the table is increasingly crucial and the demand for transparency and choice is more imperative than ever before.
HDHPs are on the rise: Employee Benefit Advisor recently reported an increase from 17% of health plan enrollees having a high deductible health plan in 2011 to 29% in 2016.
BenefitsPro also recently reported millennials prefer having the choice to opt-in to an HDHP, which means high-deductibles with low premiums – ideal for a younger individual who minimal expected medical visits per year.
Employers are also big fans of the lower premium plans – pushing them by offering to cover additional premiums. Some industries that have seen successful adoption of these high-deductible plans include retail, education, manufacturing and healthcare.
Hand in hand with HDHPs are Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) which are usually offered as joint options. Per Plan Advisor, “Often, employers offer health savings accounts (HSAs) along with HDHPs to enable employees to save money tax-free for medical expenses that roll over year-to-year and can help fund the employee in retirement.”
While, at first blush, the term “higher deductible” might be a ‘turn-off’ – the plan actually may end up being a substantial cost-saver if the consumer doesn’t utilize their current high premium, low deductible plan to its full potential. Combined with an HSA, HDHPs can also be a good way to plan ahead. For example, if someone is looking at having a child in the fact 5 years, they can save what they don’t use now when they really need it, or they can start putting away extra money towards retirement.
When working with millennials to find a customized plan, it is important to fully explore the possibilities of an HDHPs. Not only may it pay off immediately, but it also may pay for years down the road.