Are HDHPs essentially no coverage until you hit your deductible?

My interest in the HDHPs are the eligibility for an HSA. All the HSA eligible plans on marketplace seem to say similar things for cost of treatment; primary care visits for instance are $50 or maybe 50% coinsurance AFTER the deductible.

I don’t go to the doctor that often, but would one be paying full price for a primary care visit until the deductible is paid or is there a different rate just for being insured? I would really appreciate clarity on this.

I think max contributions for HSAs in 2023 are $3,850 or there abouts. This is a cool account because you can invest it and it’s tax advantaged in 3 ways; it’s funded with pre-tax dollars, investments are exempt from capital gains tax and you don’t pay tax for medical services utilized, if I understand that correctly.

I also just learned that whatever you don’t use cam be withdrawn penalty free at age 65 paying only long-term capital gains tax, like a traditional IRA.

I like the investment aspect, but not if you’re paying full price for medical services until you hit your deductible. That would seem to nullify any financial advantage to having this type of plan.

What about imaging like an MRI for instance? Most of the plans say the same thing as for primary care visits; no discount until deductible is paid. But is there any discount at all for just having insurance?

Sorry if this is a juvenile question, I’ve actually never had to buy my own insurance before so this is all a big learning experience.

I appreciate any guidance with this topic. Thank you and enjoy the rest of the weekend!