Mini-med plans, health plans with low premiums but very low annual benefit limits, have been getting lots of attention lately, mostly due to the temporary waivers from the ACA's annual limit phaseout some have gotten. But there was a fascinating article in the Houston Chronicle yesterday on a different kind of mini-med insurance. Unlike real mini-med plans, it's not meant to be one's primary health plan; instead, it's insurance to help defray some of the costs of deductibles in high-deductible plans. This defeats some of the economic purpose of high-deductible plans which, in part, is to use cost barriers (i.e. high out-of-pocket spending) to decrease utilization. Mind you, that's not necessarily a good thing if you're considering health; high-deductible plans are causing people to defer necessary care (people of all incomes, though the further down the income ladder you go, the more care is deferred) with an apparent negative impact on health. But buying insurance to help pay the deductible on your insurance is a bit ridiculous.