Health Insurance

High-Deductible Health Plans Continue to Grow in Popularity, but Are They Right for You?

High-Deductible Health Plans Continue to Grow in Popularity, but Are They Right for You?

Despite certain benefits for HDHP holders, added costs can increase the risk of future financial problems for many consumers.
A smiling mother talks to the pediatrician.
A smiling mother talks to the pediatrician. Source: Getty Images

High-deductible health plans (HDHPs) allow consumers to open and contribute to a specialized savings and investment account for health care costs. These health savings accounts (HSAs) are alluring for their tax incentives. Money is contributed on a pretax basis and used tax-free to pay for deductibles, copayments, coinsurance and certain related expenses (though not health insurance premiums).

HDHPs generally come with lower premiums than other types of health insurance, so it's not surprising that they're growing in popularity among people enrolled in employer-sponsored health plans. (This is despite them tending to have considerably higher deductibles, as their name implies.)

Case in point, 52.9% of American private-sector workers were enrolled in HDHPs in 2020, up from 39.4% in 2015, according to a ValuePenguin analysis. However, HDHPs have significant drawbacks that can make them less than optimal, particularly for families struggling to make ends meet.

Key findings

  • 52.9% of American workers covered by private health insurance through their employer were enrolled in high-deductible health plans in 2020. That's up moderately from 50.5% in 2019 and substantially from 39.4% in 2015.
  • North Carolina has the highest rate of private employees enrolled in HDHPs, at 69.5%. Behind North Carolina are New Hampshire (68.0%) and Kentucky (66.2%).
  • Hawaii has the lowest rate of private workers using HDHPs, at 17.6%. Ahead of Hawaii are the District of Columbia (33.8%) and Alabama (38.8%).
  • In the past five years, Arkansas saw the biggest jump in the percentage of private employees using HDHPs. In 2016, 33.1% of employees used HDHPs in Arkansas, but that percentage jumped to 56.9% in 2020 — a 71.7% increase. Just four states — Connecticut, New Hampshire, Tennessee and Maine — saw decreases in the percentage of employees using HDHPs.

HDHP enrollment is on the rise — here's how that looked in 2020 by state

These plans must have a deductible of at least $1,400 for an individual or $2,800 for a family to meet the 2022 definition of an HDHP. The total out-of-pocket expenses can't be more than $7,050 or $14,100, respectively.

On a national level, HDHPs are becoming more common, with more than half of Americans who have access to such a plan through their employer taking up the deal.

The chart below delineates the increasing popularity of HDHPs on a national level, looking at figures since 2015.

High-deductible health plan coverage, nationally
Year% with HDHPYear% with HDHP
201539.4%201849.1%
201642.6%201950.5%
201748.7%202052.9%

(Of importance, the figures in this study don't include consumers who purchase their health insurance on the public market, but only those covered by an employer-sponsored health care plan offered through their employer.)

Although there's a clear rise on a national level, the trends vary significantly by state. North Carolina leads the pack, with 69.5% of its privately insured employees enrolled in HDHPs, followed by states scattered across the nation and political spectrum.

States with highest rate of private employees enrolled in HDHPs
RankState% with HDHPRankState% with HDHP
1North Carolina69.5%6Missouri63.2%
2New Hampshire68.0%7West Virginia62.9%
3Kentucky66.2%8Minnesota62.5%
4Arizona64.9%9Utah62.4%
5Indiana64.7%10South Dakota62.3%

At the other end of the spectrum, certain states' residents seem more resistant to hopping aboard the HDHP train. Hawaii — in particular — is a standout, with only 17.6% of its population of employer-sponsored health care consumers opting for HDHPs, followed by the District of Columbia (33.8%), Alabama (38.8%), and New York (40.5%).

States with lowest rate of private employees enrolled in HDHPs
RankState% with HDHPRankState% with HDHP
1Hawaii17.6%6Mississippi45.9%
2District of Columbia33.8%7Massachusetts45.9%
3Alabama38.8%8Louisiana45.9%
4New York40.5%9Maryland47.0%
5California42.8%10Pennsylvania47.2%

Again, states and districts on the lower end of the HDHP enrollment spectrum are disparate in geographical location and political leaning, though many of them — aside from Hawaii and California — seem to be concentrated in the eastern half of the country.

Full rankings

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hCELBb\"\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Cth colSpan=\"4\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledHeaderCell-sc-nsptsd dktvfb\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledColumnHeaderWrapper-sc-12xyb2r gPTwhA\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003EHigh-deductible health plan coverage, nationally\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/th\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003C\/thead\u003E\u003Ctbody class=\"StyledBody-sc-14y8oc0 dcdMVT\"\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EYear\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003E% with HDHP\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EYear\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003E% with HDHP\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E2015\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E39.4%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E2018\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E49.1%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E2016\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E42.6%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E2019\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E50.5%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E2017\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E48.7%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E2020\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E52.9%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003C\/tbody\u003E\u003C\/table\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\n \u003Cscript type=\"application\/json\" class=\"js-react-component\" data-component-name=\"SortableTable\"\u003E{\"alignsHorizontal\":[\"left\",\"right\",\"left\",\"right\"],\"alignsVertical\":[\"top\",\"top\",\"top\"],\"columnWidths\":[\"25%\",\"25%\",\"25%\",\"25%\"],\"data\":[[\"High-deductible 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national level, the trends vary significantly by state. North Carolina leads the pack, with 69.5% of its privately insured employees enrolled in HDHPs, followed by states scattered across the nation and political spectrum.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ReactComponent--root\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"js-react-component-rendered js-react-component-SortableTable\" data-component-name=\"SortableTable\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"StyledRootWrapper-sc-3qeib4 jYHfZo\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledTableWrapper-sc-5nmmx9 fesmOM\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledTableOverflowWrapper-sc-hixhp9 gVbnK\"\u003E\u003Ctable class=\"StyledTable-sc-ujzn9t jVpJxq\"\u003E\u003Cthead class=\"StyledHeaderRow-sc-1m1b8dn hCELBb\"\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Cth colSpan=\"6\" width=\"10%\" class=\"StyledHeaderCell-sc-nsptsd eWikhN\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledColumnHeaderWrapper-sc-12xyb2r gPTwhA\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003EStates with highest rate of private employees enrolled in HDHPs\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/th\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003C\/thead\u003E\u003Ctbody class=\"StyledBody-sc-14y8oc0 dcdMVT\"\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"10%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003ERank\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EState\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"15%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003E% with HDHP\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"10%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003ERank\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EState\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"15%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003E% with HDHP\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"10%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E1\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003ENorth Carolina\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"15%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E69.5%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"10%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E6\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EMissouri\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"15%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E63.2%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"10%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E2\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003ENew Hampshire\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"15%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E68.0%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"10%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E7\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EWest Virginia\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"15%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E62.9%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"10%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E3\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EKentucky\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"15%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E66.2%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"10%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E8\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EMinnesota\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"15%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E62.5%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"10%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E4\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EArizona\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"15%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E64.9%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"10%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E9\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EUtah\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"15%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E62.4%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"10%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E5\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EIndiana\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"15%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E64.7%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"10%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E10\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003ESouth Dakota\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"15%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E62.3%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003C\/tbody\u003E\u003C\/table\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\n \u003Cscript type=\"application\/json\" class=\"js-react-component\" data-component-name=\"SortableTable\"\u003E{\"alignsHorizontal\":[\"left\",\"left\",\"right\",\"left\",\"left\",\"right\"],\"alignsVertical\":[\"top\",\"top\",\"top\",\"top\",\"top\",\"top\"],\"columnWidths\":[\"10%\",\"25%\",\"15%\",\"10%\",\"25%\",\"15%\"],\"data\":[[\"States with highest rate of private employees enrolled in HDHPs\",\"<<<\",\"<<<\",\"<<<\",\"<<<\",\"<<<\"],[\"\\u003Cstrong\\u003ERank\\u003C\\\/strong\\u003E\",\"\\u003Cstrong\\u003EState\\u003C\\\/strong\\u003E\",\"\\u003Cstrong\\u003E% with HDHP\\u003C\\\/strong\\u003E\",\"\\u003Cstrong\\u003ERank\\u003C\\\/strong\\u003E\",\"\\u003Cstrong\\u003EState\\u003C\\\/strong\\u003E\",\"\\u003Cstrong\\u003E% with HDHP\\u003C\\\/strong\\u003E\"],[\"1\",\"North 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Hawaii \u2014 in particular \u2014 is a standout, with only 17.6% of its population of employer-sponsored health care consumers opting for HDHPs, followed by the District of Columbia (33.8%), Alabama (38.8%), and New York (40.5%).\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ReactComponent--root\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"js-react-component-rendered js-react-component-SortableTable\" data-component-name=\"SortableTable\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"StyledRootWrapper-sc-3qeib4 jYHfZo\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledTableWrapper-sc-5nmmx9 fesmOM\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledTableOverflowWrapper-sc-hixhp9 gVbnK\"\u003E\u003Ctable class=\"StyledTable-sc-ujzn9t jVpJxq\"\u003E\u003Cthead class=\"StyledHeaderRow-sc-1m1b8dn hCELBb\"\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Cth colSpan=\"6\" width=\"10%\" class=\"StyledHeaderCell-sc-nsptsd eWikhN\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledColumnHeaderWrapper-sc-12xyb2r gPTwhA\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003EStates with lowest rate of private employees enrolled in HDHPs\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/th\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003C\/thead\u003E\u003Ctbody class=\"StyledBody-sc-14y8oc0 dcdMVT\"\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"10%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003ERank\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EState\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"15%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003E% with HDHP\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"10%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003ERank\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EState\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"15%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003E% with HDHP\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"10%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E1\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EHawaii\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"15%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E17.6%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"10%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E6\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EMississippi\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"15%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E45.9%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"10%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E2\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EDistrict of Columbia\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"15%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E33.8%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"10%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E7\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EMassachusetts\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"15%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E45.9%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"10%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E3\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EAlabama\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"15%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E38.8%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"10%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E8\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003ELouisiana\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"15%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E45.9%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"10%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E4\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003ENew York\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"15%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E40.5%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"10%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E9\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EMaryland\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"15%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E47.0%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"10%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E5\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003ECalifornia\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"15%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E42.8%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"10%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E10\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EPennsylvania\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"15%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E47.2%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003C\/tbody\u003E\u003C\/table\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\n \u003Cscript type=\"application\/json\" class=\"js-react-component\" data-component-name=\"SortableTable\"\u003E{\"alignsHorizontal\":[\"left\",\"left\",\"right\",\"left\",\"left\",\"right\"],\"alignsVertical\":[\"top\",\"top\",\"top\",\"top\",\"top\",\"top\"],\"columnWidths\":[\"10%\",\"25%\",\"15%\",\"10%\",\"25%\",\"15%\"],\"data\":[[\"States with lowest rate of private employees enrolled in HDHPs\",\"<<<\",\"<<<\",\"<<<\",\"<<<\",\"<<<\"],[\"\\u003Cstrong\\u003ERank\\u003C\\\/strong\\u003E\",\"\\u003Cstrong\\u003EState\\u003C\\\/strong\\u003E\",\"\\u003Cstrong\\u003E% with HDHP\\u003C\\\/strong\\u003E\",\"\\u003Cstrong\\u003ERank\\u003C\\\/strong\\u003E\",\"\\u003Cstrong\\u003EState\\u003C\\\/strong\\u003E\",\"\\u003Cstrong\\u003E% with HDHP\\u003C\\\/strong\\u003E\"],[\"1\",\"Hawaii\",\"17.6%\",\"6\",\"Mississippi\",\"45.9%\"],[\"2\",\"District of Columbia\",\"33.8%\",\"7\",\"Massachusetts\",\"45.9%\"],[\"3\",\"Alabama\",\"38.8%\",\"8\",\"Louisiana\",\"45.9%\"],[\"4\",\"New York\",\"40.5%\",\"9\",\"Maryland\",\"47.0%\"],[\"5\",\"California\",\"42.8%\",\"10\",\"Pennsylvania\",\"47.2%\"]],\"footnote\":\"\",\"hideHeaderRow\":false,\"hasMarginBottom\":true,\"isExpandable\":false,\"isSortable\":false,\"maxWidth\":\"1215\",\"minWidth\":\"100%\",\"showSearch\":false,\"sortColumnIndex\":0,\"sortDirection\":\"asc\"}\u003C\/script\u003E\n\n\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EAgain, states and districts on the lower end of the HDHP enrollment spectrum are disparate in geographical location and political leaning, though many of them \u2014 aside from Hawaii and California \u2014 seem to be concentrated in the eastern half of the country.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Ch3\u003EFull rankings\u003C\/h3\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"infogram-embed\" data-id=\"_\/UpZDPmaSouGv9YuKa5WA\" data-type=\"interactive\" data-title=\"State-by-state percentage of employed workforce enrolled in a HDHP 2021\"\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003Cscript\u003E!function(e,i,n,s){var t=\"InfogramEmbeds\",d=e.getElementsByTagName(\"script\")[0];if(window[t]&&window[t].initialized)window[t].process&&window[t].process();else if(!e.getElementById(n)){var o=e.createElement(\"script\");o.async=1,o.id=n,o.src=\"https:\/\/e.infogram.com\/js\/dist\/embed-loader-min.js\",d.parentNode.insertBefore(o,d)}}(document,0,\"infogram-async\");\u003C\/script\u003E\n\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E","padding":"double"}

How HDHP enrollment has changed in the past 5 years

As national trends in HDHP enrollment rise, so do trends on the state level. But — again — specifics vary. Over the past five years, Arkansas has experienced the biggest increase in HDHP-enrolled employees, from 33.1% in 2016 to 56.9% in 2020, or a jump of 71.7%.

Only four states bucked the trend, seeing a decrease in HDHP enrollment: Connecticut, New Hampshire, Tennessee and Maine. Connecticut saw the steepest decrease (8.5%), while Maine's drop was nearly negligible (0.3%).

So what's causing this undeniable spike in HDHP enrollment? Put simply: American health care is expensive, and having more options to pay for those costs has proven attractive — particularly when combined with lower premiums.

"More consumers are enrolling in HDHPs to help them manage health care costs," says Robin Townsend, a technical writer for ValuePenguin whose focus is health and life insurance. "Rather than pay higher premiums in advance for insurance they may not use, healthier consumers find that HDHPs allow them more control over their health care spending."

The addition of an HSA offers flexibility in paying health care expenses.

HDHP annual plan averages — and the benefits of HDHPs

Although HDHPs have lower premiums than other types of health insurance, there are still some upfront costs. The following data comes from the Kaiser Family Foundation, reflecting the average cost of an employer-sponsored HDHP for the 2021 plan year.

Annual plan averages
Single coverageFamily coverage
Premiums$7,441$21,662
Deductibles$2,349$5,217
Out-of-pocket maximums$4,425N/A

Per the same dataset, overall average annual premiums for health insurance were $7,739 for individual coverage and $22,221 for family coverage — figures that include HDHPs with their lower-than-average premiums.

Further, premiums are on the rise. The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that the average family premium has increased some 47% since 2011 and 22% since 2016, which may account for the renewed interest in an insurance option with lower premiums and increased flexibility.

HDHP affordability example

Let's look at an example to see how an HDHP might make health care costs more affordable — or not.

Two individuals are looking for health insurance. Person A decides to purchase a high-deductible health insurance policy with a $2,500 annual premium and $5,000 deductible, while Person B decides on a higher annual premium ($3,500) and lower deductible ($2,000).

If both individuals incurred $5,000 medical expenses during the year, Person B would save $2,000 more than Person A.

Person A
Person B
Annual premium$2,500$3,500
Deductible$5,000$2,000
Medical expenses$5,000$5,000
Total costs (premium and deductible costs)$7,500$5,500

Since Person B had a deductible $3,000 lower than Person A, they could get more of the $5,000 medical expense covered by their insurance provider — assuming insurance pays 100% of medical costs after the deductible.

{"backgroundColor":"white","content":"\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EAlthough HDHPs have lower premiums than other types of health insurance, there are still some upfront costs. The following data comes from the Kaiser Family Foundation, reflecting the average cost of an employer-sponsored HDHP for the 2021 plan year.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ReactComponent--root\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"js-react-component-rendered js-react-component-SortableTable\" data-component-name=\"SortableTable\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"StyledRootWrapper-sc-3qeib4 jYHfZo\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledTableWrapper-sc-5nmmx9 fesmOM\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledTableOverflowWrapper-sc-hixhp9 gVbnK\"\u003E\u003Ctable class=\"StyledTable-sc-ujzn9t jVpJxq\"\u003E\u003Cthead class=\"StyledHeaderRow-sc-1m1b8dn hCELBb\"\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Cth colSpan=\"3\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledHeaderCell-sc-nsptsd fBchfi\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledColumnHeaderWrapper-sc-12xyb2r gPTwhA\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003EAnnual plan averages\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/th\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003C\/thead\u003E\u003Ctbody class=\"StyledBody-sc-14y8oc0 dcdMVT\"\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003ESingle coverage\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EFamily coverage\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EPremiums\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E$7,441\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E$21,662\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EDeductibles\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E$2,349\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E$5,217\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EOut-of-pocket maximums\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E$4,425\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EN\/A\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003C\/tbody\u003E\u003C\/table\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\n \u003Cscript type=\"application\/json\" class=\"js-react-component\" data-component-name=\"SortableTable\"\u003E{\"alignsHorizontal\":[\"left\",\"left\",\"left\"],\"alignsVertical\":[\"top\",\"top\",\"top\"],\"columnWidths\":[\"33.33%\",\"33.33%\",\"33.33%\"],\"data\":[[\"Annual plan averages\",\"<<<\",\"<<<\"],[\"\",\"\\u003Cstrong\\u003ESingle coverage\\u003C\\\/strong\\u003E\",\"\\u003Cstrong\\u003EFamily coverage\\u003C\\\/strong\\u003E\"],[\"Premiums\",\"$7,441\",\"$21,662\"],[\"Deductibles\",\"$2,349\",\"$5,217\"],[\"Out-of-pocket maximums\",\"$4,425\",\"N\\\/A\"]],\"footnote\":\"\",\"hideHeaderRow\":false,\"hasMarginBottom\":true,\"isExpandable\":false,\"isSortable\":false,\"maxWidth\":\"1215\",\"minWidth\":\"100%\",\"showSearch\":false,\"sortColumnIndex\":0,\"sortDirection\":\"asc\"}\u003C\/script\u003E\n\n\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EPer the same dataset, overall \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"Average Cost of Health Insurance\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/average-cost-of-health-insurance\"\u003Eaverage annual premiums for health insurance\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E were $7,739 for individual coverage and $22,221 for family coverage \u2014 figures that include HDHPs with their lower-than-average premiums.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EFurther, premiums are on the rise. The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that the average family premium has increased some 47% since 2011 and 22% since 2016, which may account for the renewed interest in an insurance option with lower premiums and increased flexibility.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Ch3\u003EHDHP affordability example\u003C\/h3\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003ELet's look at an example to see how an HDHP might make health care costs more affordable \u2014 or not.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003ETwo individuals are looking for health insurance. Person A decides to purchase a high-deductible health insurance policy with a $2,500 annual premium and $5,000 deductible, while Person B decides on a higher annual premium ($3,500) and lower deductible ($2,000).\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EIf both individuals incurred $5,000 medical expenses during the year, Person B would save $2,000 more than Person A.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ReactComponent--root\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"js-react-component-rendered js-react-component-SortableTable\" data-component-name=\"SortableTable\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"StyledRootWrapper-sc-3qeib4 jYHfZo\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledTableWrapper-sc-5nmmx9 fesmOM\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledTableOverflowWrapper-sc-hixhp9 gVbnK\"\u003E\u003Ctable class=\"StyledTable-sc-ujzn9t jVpJxq\"\u003E\u003Cthead class=\"StyledHeaderRow-sc-1m1b8dn hCELBb\"\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Cth colSpan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledHeaderCell-sc-nsptsd fBchfi\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledColumnHeaderWrapper-sc-12xyb2r gPTwhA\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/th\u003E\u003Cth colSpan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledHeaderCell-sc-nsptsd fBchfi\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledColumnHeaderWrapper-sc-12xyb2r glLrYA\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003EPerson A\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/th\u003E\u003Cth colSpan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledHeaderCell-sc-nsptsd fBchfi\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledColumnHeaderWrapper-sc-12xyb2r glLrYA\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003EPerson B\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/th\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003C\/thead\u003E\u003Ctbody class=\"StyledBody-sc-14y8oc0 dcdMVT\"\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EAnnual premium\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$2,500\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$3,500\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EDeductible\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$5,000\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$2,000\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EMedical expenses\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$5,000\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$5,000\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003ETotal costs (premium and deductible costs)\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$7,500\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$5,500\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003C\/tbody\u003E\u003C\/table\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\n \u003Cscript type=\"application\/json\" class=\"js-react-component\" data-component-name=\"SortableTable\"\u003E{\"alignsHorizontal\":[\"left\",\"right\",\"right\"],\"alignsVertical\":[\"top\",\"top\",\"top\"],\"columnWidths\":[\"33.33%\",\"33.33%\",\"33.33%\"],\"data\":[[\"\",\"Person A\",\"Person B\"],[\"Annual premium\",\"$2,500\",\"$3,500\"],[\"Deductible\",\"$5,000\",\"$2,000\"],[\"Medical expenses\",\"$5,000\",\"$5,000\"],[\"Total costs (premium and deductible costs)\",\"$7,500\",\"$5,500\"]],\"footnote\":\"\",\"hideHeaderRow\":false,\"hasMarginBottom\":true,\"isExpandable\":false,\"isSortable\":false,\"maxWidth\":\"1215\",\"minWidth\":\"100%\",\"showSearch\":false,\"sortColumnIndex\":0,\"sortDirection\":\"asc\"}\u003C\/script\u003E\n\n\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003ESince Person B had a deductible $3,000 lower than Person A, they could get more of the $5,000 medical expense covered by their insurance provider \u2014 assuming insurance pays 100% of medical costs after the deductible.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E","padding":"double"}

Why an HDHP might not be right for you

As is evidenced in the example above, enrolling in an HDHP doesn't always save consumers money, even with the addition of an HSA. High deductibles can translate to high out-of-pocket costs, which can cause financial trouble for families whose monthly budgets are already stretched to the limit.

In fact, even scaled up, the dynamic in the above example would remain the same. If they each incurred $10,000 in health care expenses, Person A would pay $7,500 out of pocket as opposed to Person B's $5,500 — again, assuming insurance covers all expenses after the deductible.

Person A
Person B
Annual premium$2,500$3,500
Deductible$5,000$2,000
Medical expenses$10,000$10,000
Total costs (premium and deductible costs)$7,500$5,500
{"backgroundColor":"white","content":"\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ReactComponent--root\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"js-react-component-rendered js-react-component-SortableTable\" data-component-name=\"SortableTable\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"StyledRootWrapper-sc-3qeib4 jYHfZo\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledTableWrapper-sc-5nmmx9 fesmOM\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledTableOverflowWrapper-sc-hixhp9 gVbnK\"\u003E\u003Ctable class=\"StyledTable-sc-ujzn9t jVpJxq\"\u003E\u003Cthead class=\"StyledHeaderRow-sc-1m1b8dn hCELBb\"\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Cth colSpan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledHeaderCell-sc-nsptsd fBchfi\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledColumnHeaderWrapper-sc-12xyb2r gPTwhA\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/th\u003E\u003Cth colSpan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledHeaderCell-sc-nsptsd fBchfi\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledColumnHeaderWrapper-sc-12xyb2r glLrYA\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003EPerson A\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/th\u003E\u003Cth colSpan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledHeaderCell-sc-nsptsd fBchfi\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledColumnHeaderWrapper-sc-12xyb2r glLrYA\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003EPerson B\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/th\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003C\/thead\u003E\u003Ctbody class=\"StyledBody-sc-14y8oc0 dcdMVT\"\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EAnnual premium\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$2,500\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$3,500\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EDeductible\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$5,000\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$2,000\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EMedical expenses\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$10,000\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$10,000\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003ETotal costs (premium and deductible costs)\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$7,500\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"33.33%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$5,500\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003C\/tbody\u003E\u003C\/table\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\n \u003Cscript type=\"application\/json\" class=\"js-react-component\" data-component-name=\"SortableTable\"\u003E{\"alignsHorizontal\":[\"left\",\"right\",\"right\"],\"alignsVertical\":[\"top\",\"top\",\"top\"],\"columnWidths\":[\"33.33%\",\"33.33%\",\"33.33%\"],\"data\":[[\"\",\"Person A\",\"Person B\"],[\"Annual premium\",\"$2,500\",\"$3,500\"],[\"Deductible\",\"$5,000\",\"$2,000\"],[\"Medical expenses\",\"$10,000\",\"$10,000\"],[\"Total costs (premium and deductible costs)\",\"$7,500\",\"$5,500\"]],\"footnote\":\"\",\"hideHeaderRow\":false,\"hasMarginBottom\":true,\"isExpandable\":false,\"isSortable\":false,\"maxWidth\":\"1215\",\"minWidth\":\"100%\",\"showSearch\":false,\"sortColumnIndex\":0,\"sortDirection\":\"asc\"}\u003C\/script\u003E\n\n\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E","padding":"double"}

At $1,000 in health care expenses, Person A would pay $3,500 to Person B's $4,500. But banking on such an outcome — and such low need for medical care — can be a gamble in an unpredictable world.

Person A
Person B
Annual premium$2,500$3,500
Deductible$5,000$2,000
Medical expenses$1,000$1,000
Total costs (premium and deductible costs)$3,500$4,500
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So even though an HDHP might seem like a cheap health insurance option from the premiums alone, it might be anything but when it comes time to pony up at the doctor's office.

Methodology

ValuePenguin researchers analyzed data from the State Health Compare tool, which aggregates high-deductible health plan (HDHP) enrollment by state. Annual plan averages for employer-sponsored HDHPs for the 2021 plan year come via the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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