A deductible is the amount of money that a patient must pay out of pocket for covered medical services before their insurance plan begins to pay. Deductibles can vary widely depending on the insurance plan and are typically set annually. Once the deductible is met, the insurance company begins to cover a portion or all of the costs of covered services, depending on the plan’s terms, such as co-insurance or co-payments.

High-deductible health plans often have lower monthly premiums but require patients to pay higher deductibles before coverage kicks in. Deductibles reset annually, and not all medical services may count towards meeting the deductible. Understanding and managing the deductible is crucial for patients to anticipate healthcare costs and effectively utilize their insurance benefits.