A medical insurance deductible is the amount owed by the policyholder before the plan pays for covered services, according to HealthCare.gov, a government website managed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. For instance, if a deductible is $500, then the first $500 in costs for medical care must be covered by the policyholder. Depending on the plan, the deductible does not always apply to all services rendered.
Many health insurance companies provide some medical benefits prior to the deductible being met, notes HealthCare.gov. For example, some plans cover preventative services, immunizations and health screenings in full prior to the policyholder reaching the deductible threshold. Plans with prescription coverage may have lower deductibles for prescription medications than other types of coverage.