It can be difficult to help clients and prospects overcome their fear of health savings accounts and associated high-deductible health plans — and this can be related to typical consumer behavior. The risks are overblown and the rewards are understated in the marketplace. Why? Because Americans have been accustomed to low-deductible, ever-increasing premium plans offered through their employers.
A low-deductible plan discourages the insured person from looking for value. Value is derived from cost and quality considerations, and it is very difficult to do this math, or care about it, if a third party is paying for every single health care expense. Sure, a higher deductible may seem risky if the prospect doesn’t think they can meet it. But can they afford to pay for unsustainable premium increases driven by the lack of focus on cost and quality — or value?
The auto insurance metaphor
The auto insurance metaphor can be a key tactic in explaining the benefits of a health savings account and attached high-deductible health plan. Over the years, Americans’ love for cars has been protected by ever-evolving auto insurance policies. We have become accustomed to finding affordable insurance on or offline by playing with the coverage plan — the higher the deductible, the lower the premium. Why? Because the auto insurance company believes that when the driver is exposed to more risk, they will drive more safely.
So the first step is to explain that a high-deductible health plan, like that of auto insurance, can be rewarding by way of lower premiums and financial incentives to be healthy and safe.