WHAT IS HEALTH INSURANCE?

Health insurance is a type of insurance coverage that covers the cost of an insured individual's medical and surgical expenses.

Insurers use the term "provider" to describe a clinic, hospital, doctor, laboratory, healthcare practitioner, or pharmacy that treats an individual. The "insured" is the owner of the health insurance policy or the person with the health insurance coverage.

Depending on the type of health insurance coverage, either the insured pays costs out of pocket and receives reimbursement, or the insurer makes payments directly to the provider.

In countries without universal healthcare coverage, such as the United States, health insurance is commonly included in employer benefit packages.

In the U.S., the number of people with insurance decreased from 44 million in 2013 to fewer than 28 million in 2016, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. The researchers put this down to recent changes in legislation.

A Commonwealth Fund 2011 report informed that one-fourth of all U.S. citizens of working age experienced a gap in health insurance coverage. Many people in the survey lost their health insurance when they either became unemployed or changed jobs.

The level of treatment in emergency departments varies significantly depending on what type of health insurance a person has.

GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR INSURANCE PLAN

Are you getting everything you can out of your health insurance plan? Try these seven expert tips to make sure you max out every benefit available to you. Your health insurance can help you keep your healthcare costs manageable. But many families may not be maximizing the benefits their insurance provides—and could be paying significantly more than they need to for healthcare as a result. Here's how to ensure you get the most out of your insurance policy.


1. Choose the right plan for your family.

2. Make sure you understand your plan.

3. Ask an advocate to work for you.

4. Stick with in-network providers.

5. Make the most of it when you max out your deductible.

6. Get your prescriptions via mail order.

7. Max out any discounts, programs and benefits.

 

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