Health Insurance Deductibles Explained

30 Days of Healthcare

In the US, 51% of insured adults are uncertain about at least one feature of their insurance.1

This post is a part of our 30 Days of US Healthcare series. You can watch all the videos in this series on YouTube and learn more about the content behind the videos here on our blog.


Premiums, deductibles, out-of-pocket expenses, co-pays, co-insurance, maximum out-of-pocket expenses, explanation of benefits statements, in-network, out-of-network . . . I know, it’s a lot.


Deductibles have increased 35% in the last decade. That’s more than inflation.2

The average annual deductible for US families with employer-based health insurance is $3,811.2

But only 64% of adults can cover a $400 unexpected expense.3


💰 A deductible is the amount of money we must pay each year for healthcare services that are covered by our insurance BEFORE insurance starts to pay.4

💰 Yes, you already pay a monthly fee (your premium). But you can’t start using your insurance to help pay for your healthcare costs until you pay even more (your deductible).

After taking care of your premiums and meeting your deductible, you might think you are done making healthcare payments. But you would be oh so very wrong.

We’ll be back on this blog on Day 5 of the 30 Days of US Healthcare YouTube series to compare a couple of additional fees insurance companies charge. 

1 Jun 15, 2023. “KFF Survey Shows Complexity, Red Tape, Denials, Confusion Rivals Affordability as a Problem for Insured Consumers, with Some Saying It Caused Them to Go Without or Delay Care.” KFF, 15 June 2023, 

2 “Average Annual Deductible per Enrolled Employee in Employer-Based Health Insurance for Single and Family Coverage.” KFF, 7 Aug. 2023,

3 “Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2022 – May 2023.” Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System,

4 “Deductible – Glossary.” Glossary | HealthCare.Gov,