Health insurance helps pay your medical bills and maintain your health through preventive care and treatment when you are sick or injured.
The types of health insurance you need depend on your age and the age of your children:
Health Insurance Terminology
Before you start comparing health insurance plans, it’s necessary to have a basic understanding of some key terms.
- Deductible. The amount you pay before insurance kicks in. You have to pay the deductible amount every year. If you are healthy, you can save costs on your premiums by choosing a plan with a higher deductible.
- Copay. The set amount you pay upfront for a health care service, such as $20 for an office visit with a doctor.
- Coinsurance. The amount you pay as a percentage of the allowed amount for a covered service. For example, 70/30 means the insurance company pays 70 percent, you pay 30 percent.
- Out-of-pocket maximum. The total dollar amount you may pay in one year for your out-of-pocket expenses related to health care. This does not include premiums.
Insurance Shopping Tips
- Compare and contrast the different types of coverage available and the costs before choosing a health plan.
- Make sure you understand key insurance terms and basic principles. For example, a health plan with a higher deductible could mean a lower monthly premium, but you might pay more out of pocket when you use your insurance.
- If you’re still confused, put in a call to prospective insurers — it’s their job to help you find the right plan.