Deductible Medical Deductible


What’s the Difference Between a Deductible and a ‘Medical’ Deductible?

Different 'deductibles' and 'medical deductibles' for one Covered California applicant. (Lisa Aliferis/KQED)

Different deductibles and medical deductibles for one Covered California applicant. (Lisa Aliferis/KQED)

Sunday afternoon was flying by when I received an email from Jon Brooks, a colleague who is currently shopping for health insurance for himself and his family on Covered California.

“Do you have any idea,” he wrote, “what the difference is between a ‘deductible’ and a ‘medical deductible’? Plan I’m looking at has ‘deductible’ of $0 and ‘medical deductible’ of $4,000 for family.”


Then today, a freelance reporter, also working on her application, asked me the same thing. As you can see in the screenshot above, she was comparing three plans. For two of the plans, the deductible was $5,000, but for the third plan, the deductible was “not applicable.” Further down, the medical deductible for two plans was “not applicable” but for the third plan was $2,000.

We were both confused. Continue reading