In a health insurance plan, does the deductible amount (the amount you pay before the insurance starts paying) include the monthly premium payments? If not, how is the deductible paid?
Dear Paying Up,
You have correctly described the deductible — the amount you pay before insurance starts paying. Imagine you have a $500 deductible and you have an emergency room visit that costs $750. The hospital sends its bill to your plan; your plan tells the hospital it will pay $250 since the first $500 is your deductible. The hospital then bills you for $500.
Thus, you pay your deductible by paying a medical bill. You do not pay your health plan the $500. You do pay your health plan every month so that you are covered and they will be there when you have that emergency room visit or whatever else you might need.