Health insurance provides coverage for medicine, visits to the doctor or emergency room, hospital stays and other medical expenses. Policies differ in what they cover, the size of the deductible and or co-payment, limits of coverage and the options for treatment available to the policy holder.
This insurance can be directly purchased by an individual or it may be provided through an employer. It is a contract between you and your insurance company. Health insurance helps protect you from high medical care costs Many people in the United States get a health insurance policy through their employers. In most cases, the employer helps pay for that insurance. Insurance through employers is often with a managed care plan. These plans contract with health care providers and medical facilities to provide care for members at reduced costs. You can also purchase health insurance on your own.
People who meet certain requirements can qualify for government health insurance, such as Medicare and Medicaid. The Affordable Care Act will expand health insurance coverage for many people in the U.S. Starting in October 2013, you will be able to sign up for coverage that begins in January 2014.
There are a number of companies which provide private health insurance including but not limited to Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Arizona, United Healthcare, or Aetna.
There are different plan types that can be purchased. Plans differ by network (specific provider list) and plans. Networks are important; you want to make sure that you have an adequate number of providers accepting the carrier that you choose. Plan designs are a matter of personal choice, some individuals like the triple tax advantages of Health Savings Account, some like to have copayments for services and some like the catastrophic plans.