Things You Didn’t Know About Health Insurance

Is health insurance important? You bet! Not only does it protect you against high medical costs, but it can also protect you from other financial losses in the event of an accident or illness. Check out these 10 facts about health insurance that you may not have known to better understand why health insurance is so important and how it can protect you in more ways than one.

Health insurance is something that many people know they need, but few fully understand. There are many misconceptions about health insurance out there, and it’s important to have the correct information in order to make an informed decision about what kind of plan you want and how much you can afford to pay for it each month. This article will help you understand the basics of health insurance, so you can make the right choices when it comes time to purchase your plan.

1) Healthcare isn’t just for humans

It’s also necessary for animals. We live in a world where humans are getting busier and busier, but many people don’t make time to give their pets what they need. That can result in a host of health problems that lead to suffering, pain, and even death. Thankfully, there are pet insurance plans out there. You may think they’re only necessary for surgeries or emergencies, but they can be used for many other services like regular checkups and preventative care. If you love your furry friend(s), you need to do everything you can to keep them healthy—and that means covering all bases when it comes to coverage!

2) What can you do with your family?

It’s important to have enough coverage to help you stay healthy and active as you get older. As life expectancies increase, so do health care costs—and if you don’t have enough insurance, a serious injury or illness could force you into bankruptcy. For example, an average 30-day hospital stay can cost upwards of $15,000 without insurance. But with it? It would cost an average of $5,400—far less than your monthly mortgage payment on most houses in America. Another way to look at it: Losing everything in a single day due to a catastrophic accident can ruin your entire life; protect yourself and your family with good health insurance today!

3) If you are in your twenties

Although you might think of health insurance as something that your parents pay for, or something older generations worry about, it is actually essential for millennials to purchase health insurance right now. A little-known fact is that if you are in your twenties and healthy you can find a policy with a monthly premium payment of less than $50. Policies that cheap offer coverage similar to what plans cost in your thirties, but without any pre-existing conditions clauses or arbitrary cancellation at renewal times. If you have some medical issues, you can also still find a reasonable plan; just don’t try and cheat by going without coverage until you turn twenty-six and can qualify for low-cost coverage on one of Obamacare’s exchanges.

4) Who do you choose as your doctor?

Having a doctor is one of those things you don’t think about as an adult until something goes wrong. Most people are assigned a primary care physician (PCP) based on where they live or by whom they choose as their health insurance plan. However, it may be worthwhile to do some research and find out if your insurance provider offers specific providers for particular conditions, for example having a pediatrician specializing in treating kids with asthma. The first step in getting started is making sure you understand how to sign up for your plan. The next step is actually choosing a provider. When considering potential doctors, ask yourself these questions: How far away will he/she be? What hours do they work? Are any of their offices close to my work or home?

5) How will medical bills affect me?

Medical bills are one of America’s top causes of personal bankruptcy. Even if you have health insurance, you could still wind up spending thousands of dollars on hospital bills—and even more than that on co-pays, deductibles, and other out-of-pocket expenses. If you aren’t insured or your policy doesn’t provide a lot of coverage, there are some things you can do to protect yourself from financially devastating medical costs. Check with your state and local insurance departments for assistance in choosing an affordable plan; there may be programs available to help you pay premiums or cover part of your deductible.

6) Where should I go when I get sick?

Even though medical expenses and hospital stays are covered, you’ll want to think about where you should go when you get sick. Luckily, your health insurance policy will usually allow you to see a doctor of your choice, but some policies have tiered network coverage that dictates which doctors can see members at each level. So even if a doctor is in your plan’s network, they may not be part of its highest tier, meaning that costs for their visit could apply toward your deductible and/or out-of-pocket maximum. One way to save on costs when going to a physician is by searching for one who accepts direct primary care payments (if possible). These doctors don’t take insurance and typically charge cheaper copays or offer their services on a subscription basis.

7) Should I use a PPO or HMO?

A PPO and HMO both require that you visit an in-network provider, but they differ in how they cover out-of-network providers. With a PPO, you may have to pay more to see an out-of-network doctor or specialist, but it won’t be nearly as expensive as if you’d chosen an HMO. In contrast, HMOs typically make it cheaper to see an in-network doctor or specialist because you can usually access them for free. An exception to these rules is urgent care visits: Some insurance companies don’t differentiate between in- and out-of-network urgent care centers; others might charge a higher co-pay for non-PPO urgent care centers.

8) What if I lose my job?

Another important thing to consider is what happens if you lose your job. Will you have insurance to cover these costs? If not, how will you afford them? Do you have a backup plan for covering your medical costs? This can include staying on your parents’ health insurance until you’re 26 years old (many plans allow young adults to stay on their parents’ coverage), getting coverage through a domestic partner, or becoming an entrepreneur by starting a side business that offers employee benefits. Also make sure to look into government programs like Medicaid, which covers low-income people in some states. It’s also worth considering social impact bonds, which allow private companies to create programs with public money and then get paid based on whether they work or not.

9) Do I need prescription drug coverage?

Many prescription drugs are covered by health insurance, but there are a few types that aren’t. For example, most medical plans only cover drugs that fall under Medicare Part D’s coverage gap (the donut hole) if they’re used to treat specific conditions. The donut hole begins once you reach a certain threshold in spending; if you hit that point, your plan will cover some of your costs, but if you surpass it—especially in one year—you may have to pay all of your drug costs out-of-pocket. Make sure you know what prescription drugs are covered by your plan so you can decide whether or not it makes sense to buy a separate plan for prescriptions.

10) Don’t forget the dental plan.

Believe it or not, oral health is incredibly important. Just ask your dentist—many people don’t schedule regular checkups as they should. In fact, research shows that 40% of Americans haven’t seen a dentist in more than five years! That kind of neglect means you could be missing out on preventative dental care to keep your teeth and gums healthy. A quick trip to your dentist could reveal serious issues like cavities or gum disease, so if you’re guilty of neglecting your teeth, start by scheduling an appointment right away! Afterward, talk to your insurance provider about a dental plan; most major plans include one at no extra cost. If yours doesn’t, consider switching providers until you find one that does.


Always check to make sure you have adequate coverage and keep track of how much it costs. Unfortunately, that includes learning about all sorts of terms, like coinsurance and deductibles. But it’s not nearly as complicated as your medical plan is set up to make it seem. Always stay on top of your health insurance benefits and know when to ask for help from experts. The best thing you can do for yourself is to learn all you can about what health insurance does (and doesn’t) cover so that you don’t waste time or money unnecessarily when dealing with a claim.

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