5 things to know about health insurance

5 things to know about health insurance
5 things to know about health insurance

What is health insurance?
Health insurance is a contract between you and an insurance company. You buy a plan, and the company agrees to pay part of your medical costs when you get sick or hurt. There are other important benefits of health insurance. Plans available in the Health Insurance Marketplace (and most other plans) provide free preventive care, like vaccines and check-ups. They also cover some costs for prescription drugs.

  • 1. Different health insurance policies can offer different benefits, and some can limit which doctors, hospitals, or other providers you can use.
  • 2. You may have to pay a deductible each plan year before your insurance company starts to pay for care you get. For example, let’s say your deductible is $200. You have a $1,250 emergency room visit. You pay the first $200 to cover the deductible, and then your insurance starts to pay its share.
  • 3. You may have to pay coinsurance or a copayment when you get a medical service, like a doctor visit, hospital outpatient visit, or a prescription. Coinsurance is usually a percentage amount (for example, 20% of the total cost). A copayment is usually a fixed amount (for example, $10 or $20 for a prescription or doctor visit).
  • 4. Health insurance plans contract with networks of hospitals, doctors, pharmacies, and health care providers. Depending on the type of policy you buy, your plan might only pay for your care when you get it from a provider in the plan’s network, or you may have to pay a bigger share of the bill.
  • 5. Starting in 2013, most people are required by law to have health insurance, or pay a fee with their income tax return. Get more information vist HealthCare.gov
Health insurance helps you pay for care Did you know the average cost of a 3-day hospital stay is $30,000? Or that fixing a broken leg can cost up to $7,500? Having health coverage can help protect you from high,unexpected costs like these. Your insurance policy or summary of benefits and coverage will show what types of care, treatments, and services your plan covers, including how much the insurance company will pay for different treatments in different situations.