One fee, your premium, goes directly to the insurance company and is paid throughout the year regardless of whether you ever go to a doctor, medical facility, or purchase prescription medicine. The deductible is the total amount of upfront fees paid by you directly to a physician, pharmacy, or other health facility, separate from your premium.
During this period, the insurance company isn't paying out a portion of your bills, so it is essentially saving money while you're spending it. The faster you spend, the sooner you will meet your deductible. Some years, you may never reach your deductible and will continue to pay out of pocket to providers, and pay your insurance policy premium, with your insurance company never making a payout.
If you don't use it, you may feel you're spending money for nothing. But, if there's an emergency, you will save yourself from possible financial ruin by having coverage. A serious car accident or a cancer diagnosis can easily generate medical bills running close to $100,000. Advanced treatments and medications can take your expenses far above your maximum out-of-pocket in a very short time.