3 Things that Don’t Happen When You Enroll in a High Deductible Health Plan

Enrolling in a high deductible health plan doesn't need to be cringe-worthy

I enrolled in a High Deductible Health Plan with a Health Savings Account (HSA) over 10 years ago. You know what? I am still here (and I have a nice HSA balance to show for it). At the time, people would crinkle up their faces. More than once, I heard the phrase, ” …your employer isn’t offering you real insurance.” I routinely explained how the High Deductible Health Plan worked with the HSA and how I saved money even when I had medical expenses.

Last Spring, I felt a little personal pride for the HSA industry. As I sat in a restaurant, I observed a couple compare their health plan options and select the High Deductible Health Plan with the HSA. I was a little giddy inside.

The HSA industry grew from $1.7 billion in HSA assets in 2006 to nearly $40 billion and 20 million accounts in 2016. It is now considered a mainstream health plan option. However, there are still people that crinkle up their faces in fear. To set the record straight, here are 3 Things that Don’t Happen when you Enroll in a High Deductible Health Plan.

1) You don’t become more (or less) accident prone.

I know this is a hard one to understand. Enrolling in a High Deductible Health Plan with an HSA doesn’t make you any more (or less) likely to get in a car accident, struck by lightning or fall from a ladder. Regardless of your enrollment in an HSA, you still have:

  • 1 in 9,008 chance of motor vehicle accident*
  • 1 in 161,856 chance of being stuck by lightning*
  • 1 in 607,347 chance of falling from a ladder*

*Statistics reported by the Insurance Information Institute based on the lifetime odds of dying from accidental injuries. 

2) You are not going to be denied emergency care. 

If an unfortunate accident occurs and you find yourself in an emergency room, they will not deny you services because you enrolled in a High Deductible Health Plan. You receive the services you need and it is submitted to your insurance. You are then billed at the negotiated rates. If you are unable to pay the full balance, you can talk with the provider’s billing department to setup a payment plan. PLUS, an HSA-qualifying high deductible health plan has a set out-of-pocket maximum. This means, once you hit the out-of-pocket limit, all covered expenses are paid at 100% (including prescription drugs).

3) You (probably) won’t win the lottery.

Millions of people play the lottery every day because they have hope. When you enroll in a High Deductible Health Plan with an HSA, you are taking the side of hope. You understand there will be good times when your HSA is growing. There will also be some challenging times when you have medical expenses. An HSA allows you to play the odds. Insurance is there and kicks in during the bad times. But, you reap the rewards in the good times. What have you got to lose?

By: Becky Seefeldt


2016 Year End Devenir HSA Market Research 

Insurance Information Institute – Mortality Risk