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Health Insurance: Learning the Basics

As you look for your health insurance, it pays to have a good understanding of how coverage works — so you know what kind of plan will work best for you.

First off, there’s no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” health plan. That’s because everyone has different health needs. Take a person who rarely sees a doctor, and only wants coverage for basic and routine care. The type of coverage that would work for them would be much different than the kind of plan needed for someone who has a chronic health condition such as diabetes.

So it’s important to have a plan that fits your unique health needs like a glove. To help you find the right plan, use our free service above to get quotes and expert advice from insurance professionals.

When it comes to the cost of health insurance, there’s even more to think about — including your premiums, deductible, copayments, and coinsurance.

What are these health insurance costs?

A health insurance premium is the payment you make to an insurance company to keep your coverage in effect. Usually, premiums are paid monthly.

The health insurance deductible is the amount of your medical bills you’ll have to pay before your insurance coverage kicks in. But many plans "waive the deductible" for routine services such as check-ups at the doctor’s office and annual physicals.

When your plan covers a health care service, you may be responsible for a portion of the bill. For example, you might be responsible for a copayment of $25 for a doctor’s office visit, or need to pay 20% of a hospital bill as your coinsurance.

There is a lot to consider when you’re on a health insurance search. Thankfully, there are plenty of options — and most health plans can be tailored for your individual health and budget needs.

Kinds of Health Plans

Now, let’s take a glance at a couple of the most popular types of health insurance:

An HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) is one of the most affordable plans available. They feature low premiums, low copayments, and many times, no deductible to meet. They’re a kind of managed care, where you’ll have insurance coverage with a “network” of doctors, hospitals, clinics, and specialists.

A PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) is another kind of managed care, with two levels of coverage. You’ll have the most coverage with in-network doctors, but you’ll also be covered when you get care outside the network, too.

Another option growing in popularity is the Health Savings Account (HSA). An HSA is a bank account where you can save money tax-free for your health care expenses. Health Savings Accounts are compatible with any health plan that has a deductible over $1,100.

Ready to find your plan? Use our free service above to get competitive health insurance quotes and explore your options with multiple local agents.