High Health Insurance Deductibles are a Struggle for Many


Every January 1st, millions of Americans experience the resetting of their health insurance deductible. They’ll have to pay it in full before receiving needed medical services.

For low income and working class people, the burden of paying hundreds or thousands of dollars out of pocket before insurance starts helping with medical costs each year can be devastating financially.

While a high deductible might mean low monthly health insurance rates, deductible prices can be overwhelming. Deductibles vary widely based on the insurer and the specific health plan you have. Most reset each year because insurance plans are based on an annual structure.

High health insurance deductibles affect millions of Americans

The majority of Americans are on private health insurance policies, which includes employer-sponsored plans.

People who deal with big deductibles sometimes rush to have more expensive medical procedures before the deductible resets so they won’t have to pay the higher cost after the New Year. Of course, illness and injury sneak up on us and it’s not often at the right time.

A prescription drug deductible, also known as a pharmacy deductible, is often required to pay for prescriptions before insurance will pay for medications, too. Many insurance plans combine medical and prescription deductibles. Prescription drug deductibles work the same way, requiring people to pay a certain amount out of pocket before insurance will begin covering medication.

Prescription drug deductibles are sky high, too

Many Americans have to choose between the medications they need and paying other bills because deductibles are just so high.

According to a 2020 ACA Index Report Index Report, the average family plan deductible for 2020 (across all family sizes) was $8,439, an increase of 5% from the previous year.

The climbing costs discourage some people from taking maintenance medications, which in turn leads to more serious—and more expensive—health issues.

Some Americans with private insurance skip medications altogether to save money. The alternative is often limiting grocery budgets, letting utility payments slide, and compromising on myriad other obligations and indulgences.

Help paying for health insurance deductibles

Some organizations like Patient Access Network Foundation  offer grants to help pay drug costs. Fundraising sites also provide crowdfunding for medical and charitable campaigns but only around 20% achieve success.

Some volunteer groups seek to help people pay high insurance deductibles. They’re always in need of donors to contribute funds, such as gift cards for pharmacies.

This time of year, as deductibles reset for millions of Americans, these groups need donors more than ever.

Teams in GO Humanity’s service network serve over 160,000 poor and working class people annually by providing food relief, cash aid, material donations, and more. Contributions below will help them continue to provide this assistance so that these people do not have to choose between food and medicine.