Most health insurance plans for regular coverage range from $1,000 to $2,000 a month for a family of four. This pays for
all services, big and small, as needed and determined by the member and medical staff.
Catastrophic insurance premiums are far lower than regular coverage, hovering around $200 to $300 per month. As
noted earlier, one of the features required to obtain such a low premium is what called a deductible. The deductible is the
amount you as the covered member are required to pay first before coverage kicks in. This effectively keeps the
insurance company free of having to pay for small costs that are not in and of themselves catastrophic in nature.
The clear trade-off for the consumer is that for most of the time, their money in theory stays in pocket. However, when
one does get sick with regular conditions, just about every treatment and pharmaceutical is out-of-pocket. Even a trip to
the emergency room could be denied later as not meeting the definition of catastrophic, depending on the plan’s terms
and what it will cover. That can be a bit of a rude surprise during recovery.
There are two main categories that catastrophic health insurance plans are sold under. The first is comprehensive. This
version is the closest type to a regular health plan with all of its varied services. You can still access visits,
pharmaceuticals, and treatments, but you pay out of pocket until your deductible is met either at an annual limit or in each
instance. Pricing is far lower than a regular plan but a comprehensive policy can still cost more than the next version.
The second category is supplemental. This type of plan is an
add-on to an existing policy already in place. Supplemental
plans tend to be coverage specific to types of treatment,
equipment, and medical care.
Most people who use a catastrophic insurance plan are going
to start with a comprehensive policy to get basic coverage.
They will, once the deductible is taken care of, receive critical
medical care as needed which generally covers the hospital
room, testing, surgery and critical care. Discretionary
treatments are not included.
only for the immediate care, not subsequent needs such as
rehabilitation after the fact.
Catastrophic insurance should never be confused as a
coverage option for chronic conditions. Whether it be for
ongoing mental conditions or kidney dialysis or diabetes,
these plans do not provide coverage support for ongoing