Health Insurance – What Is It?


Health insurance, sometimes called health maintenance insurance, is a kind of insurance which covers a piece or the entire risk of an individual incurring medical expenses in the future. As with all other forms of insurance, there is always risk amongst certain people. The age, gender and family composition can be factors affecting the risk level. Some people may be more prone to accidents or diseases than others, while some families may have members who are predisposed to certain diseases or health conditions. Whatever the factors behind the risk factor, it is still there and health insurance covers such risks.

Most health insurance plans cover a wide range of risks. Some examples are the following: catastrophic illnesses (those that strike without warning), emergencies that occur when treatment is unavailable for some reason, accidents that occur outside the hospital, illness brought about by health conditions acquired prior to signing up for the policy or disease contracted by a specific family member listed in the policy. If you fall within any of these categories, you can get coverage from health insurance plans. However, the level of coverage can vary depending on your personal situation.

The primary source for purchasing health insurance policies is through employers. Most employers provide insurance benefits to their employees. However, in recent years, many have complained that health insurance offered by employers is often inadequate to provide for the needs of employees. To remedy this problem, the government has stepped in and created laws which require employers to offer at least basic health insurance to their employees. This allows workers to get proper coverage when they need it without being forced into signing a long term contract with a particular health insurance company.

A health insurance policy can also be purchased privately. Private health plans are generally purchased by individuals as a stand-alone coverage or bundled with another type of policy, most commonly a life insurance policy. In many instances, individuals will purchase a separate health insurance policy for themselves, in addition to their spouse’s policy. In these cases, the insured pays a premium to the insurer, who then pays the actual costs of medical care if the insured becomes sick or injured. However, most private health plans do not cover pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes.

For those who are self-employed, health insurance is a type of insurance coverage designed to protect the insured against catastrophic health expenses incurred while working. The insured will pay a percentage, or premiums, towards the health care provider agreed upon cost of treating the insured during a specified period of time. The insured will be reimbursed for all expenses incurred by the care provider and will be responsible for paying all costs not covered by the policy, such as doctor’s office visits. The insured will also be responsible for paying any applicable taxes, if any.

There are various types of health insurance plans available to those wishing to purchase coverage. These include, managed care plans, individual health care plans, flexible spending accounts, prescription drug benefits, disability insurance plans, long-term care insurance plans, health insurance plans, and supplemental health insurance plans. For individuals who purchase their own health insurance, out-of-pocket expenses can be quite high. Therefore, it is often beneficial for those who purchase their own coverage to purchase higher deductible plans. This allows the insured to be in the clear when it comes to expenses incurred, while still allowing them to maintain adequate health insurance coverage without having to pay an extremely high deductible.