Catastrophic insurance benefits
Catastrophic health plans cover the same minimum health benefits as other health plans under the Affordable Care Act, including preventive services, emergency services, prescription drugs, and more. The difference with a catastrophic plan is that you must pay for all health-care costs until you meet a high annual deductible. Only after your out-of-pocket spending reaches the deductible does your plan begins to pay for most covered health-care services.
The deductible doesn't apply to all benefits. Catastrophic health plans cover the following benefits, even if you haven't met your yearly deductible yet:
•Three primary care visits every year
•Free preventive services required under the Affordable Care Act, including certain screenings and immunizations.
You'll pay the full cost for all other health-care services until you meet your yearly deductible. Other cost-sharing expenses, such as copayments and coinsurance, are usually higher with this type of plan. However, monthly premiums tend to be lower compared with major medical plans.
Catastrophic health coverage is different from accident, critical illness, or short-term plans; these types of coverage tend to protect the policyholder in specific, limited situations. For example, critical illness plans insure the policyholder against specific health illnesses. Short-term plans provide limited, temporary coverage when an individual isn't eligible to enroll in a major medical health plan or is waiting for coverage to start. For example, you might enroll in a short-term plan to fill a coverage gap before you're eligible for Medicare.
In contrast, catastrophic plans cover the same essential health benefits as major medical plans once you've met the yearly deductible