What is Health Insurance?

What is health insurance? This is a government service to people who need assistance in paying for medical services and sometimes prescription drugs. When you found a suitable insurance option and purchase it, you and the health insurer each agree to pay a part of your medical expenses. There are three types of Health Insurance Plans:

1. Traditional fee-for-service health insurance plans
This is the most expensive type of health insurance, but in return it offers the most flexible choice of health care providers for you.

2. Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs)
This one offers lower co-payments and covers the costs of more preventive care. It often provides integrated care and focuses on prevention and wellness. But the coverage and care is limited from doctors who work for or in contact with the HMO. For out-of-network care, generally it won't be covered, but only if it is an emergency case. And HMO may require that you live or work in its service area to be eligible for coverage.

3. Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs)
As the name stated, it provides more flexibility in selecting a care provider and at the same time, it offers lower co-payments like HMOs. With this kind of plan, it is involved in a network of participating hospitals and doctors. You will pay less if the provider belongs to the network, but you will pay for an additional cost if they are not.

Choosing a Health Insurance Plan can be a bit overwhelming, there are many factors and questions that you should consider before purchasing one. Most of the questions will be: "What is the highest amount that I have to pay in covering expenses?", "What are deductibles and co-payments? Is it the same?" or if the plan covers expenses such as: medications prescribed by the physician; special conditions or treatments like pregnancy or physical therapy; specialist like a dentist or ophthalmologist; home care or nursing home care. But you don't have to worry because there are several health cares available and also, state and federal programs can help you in finding the right health insurance. You can have health care coverage through:

Your job or your spouse/partner's job, thru a group coverage plan
A temporary insurance from your employer with Continuing Employer Coverage under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)
If you are still under 26 years old, you have a health care insurance thru your parents
Several government programs such as Medicare, Medicaid or Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Veteran's Administration or TRICARE for military personnel, and some state which provides health insurance plan
Or you can purchase on your own directly from a health insurance company or through the Health Insurance Marketplace

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