Illnesses and accidents can happen to anyone at any time. No one plans to get sick or hurt, but most people need medical care at some point. Health insurance covers these costs and protects you and your assets, which you have worked so hard to acquire, from very high and unforeseen expenses.
Having Health Insurance Can Protect You from Unexpected Events
Health insurance is a contract between you and your insurance company. When you buy a health insurance plan, the company agrees to pay part of your medical costs when you get sick or hurt. It’s not really this simple, however. You need to consider what is right for your and our family, your out-of-pocket costs and your monthly premium.
Also know that, under the Affordable Care Act, Health Insurance Marketplace plans along with most other plans provide free preventive care such as check-ups, screenings and vaccines. These plans also cover some costs for prescription drugs.
The cost of a one-day hospital stay ranges from $1,900 to $2,500 in the United States, and, on average, hospital stays last about five days. Most can’t afford even one day in a hospital without having it impact financial stability. Having health insurance coverage can help protect you from shouldering high and unexpected costs all by yourself.
Understanding How Health Insurance Coverage Works
- Premium: A premium is a fixed amount you pay to your health insurance plan, usually every month. You pay your premium even if you don’t use medical care that month.
- Deductible: If you need medical care, a deductible is the amount you pay for care before the insurance company starts to pay its share. Once you meet your deductible, your insurance company begins to cover some costs of your care. Some plans have lower deductibles such as $250, and some have higher deductibles such as $2,000.
- Copayment: A copayment is a fixed amount you’ll pay for a medical service after you’ve met your deductible. For example, after meeting your deductible, you may pay $25 for a doctor’s office visit that would cost $150 if you didn’t have coverage. Your health insurance plan pays the rest.
- Co-insurance: Co-insurance is similar to copayment except that it’s a percentage of costs you pay. You may pay 20 percent of the cost of a $100 medical bill, for example. So you would pay $20, and the health plan would pay the rest after you have paid your calendar year deductible.
How Health Insurance Can Protect You from Facing High Medical Costs
- Out-of-pocket maximum: The out-of-pocket maximum is the total amount you’ll have to pay if you get sick. For example, if your health insurance plan has a $3,000 out-of-pocket maximum, once you pay $3,000 in deductibles, coinsurance and copayments, the plan will pay for any covered care above that amount for the rest of the year.
- No yearly or lifetime limits: Health plans in the Health Insurance Marketplace can’t put dollar limits on how much they will spend each year or during your lifetime to cover essential health benefits. After you’ve reached your out-of-pocket maximum, your health insurance company must pay for all of your covered medical care with no limit.
Going without health insurance can put you at serious financial risk. Keep in mind that if you or someone in your family suffers from an illness or accident, people without coverage may wind up in deep debt or even declaring bankruptcy.
BeneFinder’s agents can help you save money and time in finding the best health insurance plan for you and your family.
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