Fixed Benefit Plans have a lower premium when compared to Comprehensive Benefit Plans largely because of their limited scope of coverage when seeking medical attention. The amount the policy will pay for treatment is pre-determined according to a benefit summary (policy details). Additionally, they offer little to no trip protection benefits such as baggage loss or trip interruption coverage. Fixed Benefit Plans contribute a predetermined amount of a given medical cost; however, any remaining costs fall on you. The benefit summary is scaled to cover the costs of small medical emergencies, but often falls short of covering the entire cost of major surgeries or lengthy hospital stays.
The other major difference is the deductible (usually $100), which is applied per claim. For example, if you visit the doctor for cold or flu-like symptoms, a deductible is required. However, if you visit the doctor again for another unrelated claim then your deductible is due again. While Fixed Benefit Plans might not provide you with coverage in all the areas you want, it will save you some up front cost if you are willing to assume some risk.
It’s important to ask yourself a simple question: What is more important to you, saving money or avoiding risk? If you are averse to risk, a Comprehensive Plan is ideal, but if you are trying to save some money, Fixed Benefit Plans are right for you.