Is Catastrophic Health Insurance Right for You?

Many people are concerned about the cost of a health emergency. If you don’t think you have sufficient health insurance to cover yourself in an emergency, perhaps catastrophic health insurance is something you might consider.

Catastrophic health insurance focuses on hospital care for those individuals who develop serious health issues – it’s basically “worst case scenario” coverage, covering hospitalization and some incidental expenses resulting from unexpected health conditions.

Those who benefit include

  • budget-conscious individuals
  • early retirees who aren’t qualified for Medicare
  • employees who aren’t enrolled in a group health insurance program
  • self-employed individuals
  • young, healthy individuals
  • those people who rarely visit their doctors, don’t have pre-existing conditions, or take prescription drugs
  • those who know they’ll have employer-sponsored health insurance within the next year

As with any insurance program, there are pros and cons:


  • Often premiums are lower, depending on your current health status. They can be as low as $30 but as high as $300.
  • There are no lifetime limits.
  • You may be able to obtain corresponding Health Savings.

Accounts (HSA), which can help pay for items that aren’t covered.


  • There are large out-of-pocket expenses and higher annual deductibles (which could range from $250 to $5,000).
  • Coverage can’t always be paired with HSAs.
  • There is a lack of or limited preventive coverage.
  • It may not cover prescription drugs, immunizations or doctors’ visits.
  • Only those under 30, and those over 30 who meet Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) hardship exemptions, qualify under the ACA. Others need private plans.