What is health insurance?
Health insurance is a type of insurance that helps cover the cost of an insured person’s medical and surgical expenses.
Insurers use the term “provider” to describe a clinic, hospital, doctor, laboratory, healthcare practitioner, or pharmacy that provides treatment for an individual’s condition.
The “insured” is the owner of the health insurance policy or the person with the health insurance coverage.
In this article, learn more about what private health insurance is, why it is important, types of plan, and legislation details.
What is it?
Depending on the type of health insurance coverage a person has, either the insured pays costs out of pocket and receives reimbursement, or the insurer makes payments directly to the provider.In countries without universal healthcare coverage, such as the United States, private health insurance is commonly included in employer benefit packages.Following the introduction of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, the number of people without insurance fell by over 20 million to reach the lowest ever level in 2016, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF).
However, from 2017, the number of adults without insurance rose again by 2.2 million, from 26.7 million in 2016 to 28.9 million in 2019. Between 2016 and 2019, the percentage of people without insurance rose from 10% to 10.9%. However, the rate of people is still higher than it was before the introduction of the Affordable Care Act.
A 2012 report from the Commonwealth Fund states that one-quarter of all U.S. citizens of working age have experienced a gap in health insurance coverage. Many people in the survey lost their insurance when they became unemployed or changed jobs.The KFF adds that Black people and those with low incomes are more likely to have no other groups.The level of treatment a person receives in emergency departments varies significantly depending on what type of insurance they have.
There are two main types of insurance: private and public, or government. There are also a few other, more specific types. The following sections will look at each of these in more detail.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that the U.S. healthcare system relies heavily on private health insurance. In the National Interview Survey, researchers found that 63.7% of people under the age of 65 years in the U.S. have a type of private health insurance coverage.