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Health Insurance

image of stethescopeProtecting health and paying for treatment

Going to the doctor, filling prescriptions, or going to the hospital can be really expensive. Most people buy health insurance to help them pay these bills. Some bills are smaller, like getting a regular checkup or a booster shot. But there are bigger costs, too, like surgeries or hospital stays. These can be huge. So everyone needs health insurance.

As with other kinds of insurance, you can choose from many kinds of help, called insurance coverage. An insurance term, coverage means what and how much your insurance pays for. People buy insurance coverage that fits their needs. Let’s use two examples to make this point.

Matching your needs

Very healthy person. If you feel that you are a very healthy young adult, you might choose insurance with lower cost premiums – another word for insurance payments. A less expensive insurance policy may not help you pay for (cover) smaller bills. For example, your insurance may pay for part or most of big costs, like surgery or a hospital stay. But it may not pay for checkups or a test for strep throat.

Person with health problems. If you have severe allergies or a weak heart, you may want help paying for more kinds of treatment: doctor visits, everyday medications, and frequent tests.

Needs change as you grow older. The amount of insurance you buy as a healthy and fit 25-year-old may be very different than the insurance you own as a 50-year-old.

You get what you pay for

  1. Most people buy health insurance through their employer. You are covered by your parent’s policy. When you finish school and get your first job, you will then have to buy your own health insurance.

The kind of health coverage you buy depends on two things:

  1. how much help you want from your insurance in paying medical bills
  2. how much you are able to spend on premiums (payments for insurance)

The more health insurance you buy, the more your insurance will help you pay for medical care. But the more insurance you buy, the more you also spend on premiums.

As with all insurance, people hope that they will never be given serious reasons to use it. But if people get very sick or need hospital treatment, they will be very glad to have help paying the bills.