There are many kinds of health insurance policies. You may see products that look and sound like health insurance, but don’t give you the same protection as full health insurance. Some policies only cover certain diseases, if you’re hurt in an accident, or only offer you discounts on health services. Don’t mistake insurance-like products for full comprehensive insurance protection.
You may have to pay coinsurance or a copayment as your share of the cost when you get a medical service, like a doctor’s visit, hospital visit, or a prescription. Coinsurance is usually a percentage amount (for example, 20% of the total cost). A copayment is usually a set dollar amount (for example, you might pay a fixed $10 or $20 for a prescription or doctor’s visit).
You may have to pay a deductible each plan year before your insurance starts to pay for care you get.
Health insurance plans have contracts with networks of hospitals, doctors, pharmacies, and health care providers to take care of people in the plan. Costs for out-of-network services are generally higher or not covered.
Insurance protects you from high costs when something bad happens. No one plans to get sick or hurt, but most people need to get treated for an illness or injury at some point, and health insurance helps pay these costs. You buy health insurance to protect you when you need medical care.