DEFINITION of 'Health Insurance' A type of insurance coverage that pays for medical and surgical expenses that are incurred by the insured. Health insurance can either reimburse the insured for expenses incurred from illness or injury or pay the care provider directly.
- Plan category: There are 5 categories of insurance plans: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Catastrophic. Plans in these categories differ based on how you and the plan share the costs of your care. The categories have nothing to do with the amount or quality of care you get.
- All plans provide the same essential health benefits and cover pre-existing conditions and offer free preventive services. But some plans offer additional benefits.
How is the cost determined? When I work with an agent do I pay more?
If you’ve searched for health insurance online, you may have seen the phrase “Prices are fixed by law, you can’t find rates lower anywhere else.”Insurance agents all offer the same price because it is law, so you can count on it. Here are a few details that will help you understand:
- Every state in the U.S. requires that the price/rate/premium of any health plan must remain the same regardless of where that same plan is purchased.
- For example, the premiums for “Health Plan A” from “Insurance Company B” must be the same no matter if you purchase from us, an agent down the street or directly through Insurance Company B.
- The only way premiums for “Health Plan A” can be increased is if the applicant has a pre- existing health condition that increases their risk of needing health care. The increase comes from the plan, not the vendor.
- It’s illegal for a vendor to add commission or additional cost to any health plan premium.
Get informed about plans, benefits and costs for 2017.