What is a premium?
A premium is the monthly cost of keeping your insurance policy in effect. Health insurance premiums are determined by a variety of factors, including your medical history, your lifestyle, and your current health status.
What is a deductible?
A deductible is an amount of medical expenses you are responsible for paying before your insurance starts covering you. A common deductible is $500 — this means you would be responsible for paying the first $500 in medical bills before receiving coverage. The higher deductible usually means lower monthly premiums.
What is a co-payment?
A co-payment is a fixed-dollar amount that you are responsible for paying for a particular medical service. For example, many plans have $25 co-payments for doctor's visits. This means it only costs you $25 to see a doctor.
What is coinsurance?
Coinsurance is an amount of the cost of a medical service that you are responsible for paying. Unlike a co-payment, which is a fixed-dollar amount, coinsurance is expressed as a percentage. For example, many insurance plans have 20% coinsurance for hospital costs — meaning you pay 20% of the total cost of a trip to the hospital.
What's an out-of-pocket expense?
An out-of-pocket expense is any cost you have to pay yourself when receiving medical care. This includes your deductible, co-payments, and coinsurance. Most health insurance policies have an annual maximum out-of-pocket expense. Once you’ve paid out enough money to meet that maximum, your insurance company will pay the rest of your medical costs.
What is managed care?
Managed care is a form of health insurance that stresses preventive medicine and affordability. In a managed care plan, you typically choose a “Primary Care Physician” who is responsible for approving specialist and hospital care. Managed care was originally introduced as a way to control healthcare costs. It's now the most common form of health insurance in the United States. HMOs and PPOs are examples of managed care.
What is a Health Savings Account?
Health Savings Accounts aren't health insurance plans. Instead, they are a financial tool designed to help make your healthcare more affordable. The money you deposit in an HSA is tax-free. You don't pay taxes on qualified withdrawals, either. In effect, it's like getting extra money from the government to pay for healthcare. To open an HSA, you first have to purchase a high deductible health plan.
Why should I buy health insurance?
Having health insurance isn't just about paying medical bills. It's about knowing that you'll always have access to quality care. Health insurance makes seeing the doctor easy and affordable — and that means you're more likely to stay healthy.