Health insurance is a method of paying for health care that protects customers who enroll in an insurance plan from having to pay the full cost of treatment for sicknesses or injuries. Similar to other types of insurance, customers choose a specific plan and agree to pay a “premium,” a monthly rate, in exchange for coverage, and the insurance provider agrees to pay a portion of the customer’s medical costs. Because companies that provide health insurance are able to negotiate better rates with doctors, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies, the “out-of-pocket cost,” which is the amount of money that a patient pays when receiving treatment or care, is greatly reduced. Without coverage, the overall medical costs for doctor’s appointments or surgeries could amount to hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Every insurance plan is different in terms of what is covered, but plans that cover certain types of preventative care, such as doctor’s appointments, hospital visits, and tripes to the emergency room, are relatively common and easy to find. Prescription drugs are typically handled on a case-by-case basis, while vision and dental coverage may need to be purchased separately. When a customer enrolls in an insurance plan, their out-of-pocket costs are clearly outlined as part of the plan itself and can include copays, deductibles, or coinsurance.
Health care can be extremely expensive, and most people cannot cover their medical costs without some form of assistance. With insurance, however, these medical costs can be managed, and the financial burden on patients can be lessened. Taking advantage of the preventative care that is covered by most plans can allow a customer to remain healthier, as regular visits and check-ups and undergoing recommended screenings make it more likely that a customer will be able to prevent potentially deadly illnesses and conditions later on. As an added benefit, many plans include coverage for wellness programs and other discounts.
A good insurance plan is a must for any individual or family that can afford it. While the monetary cost of health care can be astronomical, the human cost of not receiving it can be much greater.
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