High deductible health insurance plans are the newest offering on the health insurance market. These plans fall into the category of consumer-driven insurance and are often combined with a Health Savings Account (HSA). Because of the high deductible attached to these plans, some also refer to them as catastrophic health insurance.

The plans work by requiring subscribers to meet a large deductible before the health insurance company will begin to pay for health care expenses. The deductible amount may vary depending on the plan, but to be combined with a HSA, the minimum deductible must be $1,200 for individual health insurance or $2,400 for a family plan.

Inexpensive health insurance with high deductibles

When considering premiums alone, high deductible plans will often provide the most affordable health insurance quotes. However, it is important to remember that health insurance companies keep the premiums low by shifting a significant cost of care to subscribers. You must pay for out of pocket medical expenses equal to your deductible before insurance coverage begins.

To help pay for these out of pocket costs, most high deductible plan subscribers open a HSA. This account allows you to deposit up to $3,050 for an individual plan or $6,150 for family coverage to help pay for deductibles, co-payments and, in some cases, over the counter medications. Money withdrawn from the account for eligible medical expenses is tax-exempt.

When conducting a health insurance comparison, it is important to consider all costs including premiums, deductibles, co-payments and other co-insurance requirements. High deductible plans may be best for young adults who are generally healthy and don't anticipate needing regular health care. For these individuals, a high deductible plan offers catastrophic health insurance that keeps monthly premiums low while providing protection in the event of a serious illness or accident.