High deductible plan, chronic illness — what to do

How can I deal financially with a high deductible health insurance plan when I have a chronic condition and need regular medical care?


Dear Stuck,

For your chronic condition, you probably have prescription drugs to buy.  You might be able to spend less out of your own pocket if you can switch to a generic version of your drugs.

You also probably have regular visits to a doctor or specialist.  Ask if the office offers group visits.  Many offices do this for chronic conditions, such as diabetes.  This would lower your expense for visits.   You could also ask whether the office has a care manager available to you.  You might be able to work with the care manager and make your visits less frequent.

If you are spending more than 10 percent of your adjusted gross income on your medical costs, you can deduct from your taxes everything above the 10 percent.  This would also take some of the bite out of the cost.

When your plan is up for renewal, you might want to consider a higher cost plan with a lower deductible.  You will pay more each month for your plan, but less for your visits and prescriptions.

Linda Riddell

About Linda Riddell

A published author and health policy analyst with 25 years’ experience, Linda Riddell's goal is to alleviate the widespread ailment of not knowing what your health plan can do for you.