Health insurance is a contract between you and your insurance company. You buy a plan or policy, and the company agrees to pay part of your medical expenses when you get sick or hurt.
A standard health insurance policy also gives you access to preventive care to keep you healthy, like vaccines and check-ups. Many plans also cover prescription drugs.
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 insurance can help protect you from unexpected costs like these.
Your insurance policy will show what types of care, treatments and services are covered, including how much the insurance company will pay for different treatments in different situations.
What you Pay for Health Insurance
You’ll usually pay a premium every month for health insurance, and you may also have to meet a deductible once each year before the insurance company starts to pay its share. How much you pay for your premium and deductible is based on the type of insurance you have.
Just as important as the premium cost is how much you have to pay when you get services. Examples include:
• How much you pay before your insurance coverage starts (a deductible)
• What you pay out-of-pocket for services after you pay the deductible (coinsurance or copayments)
• How much in total you’ll have to pay if you get sick (the out-of-pocket maximum)
What your policy covers is often directly related to how expensive the health insurance policy is. The policy with the cheapest premium may not cover many services and treatments.