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Covered California Q&A

Covered California and Obamacare related questions from consumers, employers and agents are answered by Phil Daigle with the best information available at the time. Archived entries may no longer be accurate as the Covered California and Obamacare knowledge-base is evolving quickly. TO REQUEST A PERSONAL RESPONSE INCLUDE EMAIL ADDRESS.

Catastrophic Plan Deductible Too High?

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Question: What good is a catastrophic plan for young adults under 30? With a $6350 deductible, we’ll seldom get any benefit from having health insurance.

Answer: Even catastrophic plans available right now have some benefits for which the deductible does not count. One of the earliest consumer benefits of Obamacare (September 23, 2011) is that recommended preventive care services for are free. “Many California residents with high-deductible health insurance plans incorrectly believe the deductible applies to all physician visits, according to a Kaiser Permanente report published in the Journal Health Affairs. For the report, researchers surveyed 456 California residents who are enrolled in health savings accounts, a type of high-deductible plan. Researchers found that fewer than one in five respondents understood that preventive care was available at no cost or for a small copayment as part of their plan. According to the report, one-fifth of respondents said they had avoided preventive examination or treatment because of cost concerns. Insurers and agents must educate members about the details of high-deductible plans and persuade them from avoiding preventive care because of cost concerns.

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If you are under the age of 30 and don’t feel the need to buy health insurance, but are compelled to because of the individual mandate, a special catastrophic insurance plan will be available to you and to those who are exempt from the mandate. The plan will be less expensive than the Bronze plan and will include prevention benefits and 3 annual visits to your primary care doctor.

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