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Health insurance is a type of coverage that pays for medical and surgical expenses incurred by the insured. Depending on the type of policy, health insurance may also offer coverage for prescription drugs, therapy, preventive care, and other health-related services.
Health insurance is vital for several reasons:
If one or both of your parents or legal guardians have health insurance through an employer, you can stay on their plan as a covered dependent until you reach 26 years of age. After that, you’ll need to find your own health insurance plan.
In-network" refers to the group of healthcare providers (such as doctors, hospitals, and clinics) that have agreed to provide services to a health insurance plan's members at pre-negotiated rates. When you use in-network providers, the costs are typically lower than if you were to use providers outside of this network, termed "out-of-network."
These are health coverage programs that are funded and managed by the government. Examples include Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE. These programs are different from private insurance plans and are designed to ensure that certain populations have access to healthcare.
Employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) is a health insurance plan provided and often partially funded by an employer for their employees. It's one of the most common ways people in many countries, especially the U.S., obtain health coverage. The benefits and specifics of the coverage can vary widely between employers.
A pre-existing condition is any health issue that existed before the start date of your health insurance policy. In the past, insurers could deny coverage or charge more for these conditions. However, with regulations like the Affordable Care Act in the U.S., insurers can't refuse coverage or charge higher premiums due to pre-existing conditions.
Most health insurance plans provide some level of prescription drug coverage, but it varies by plan. Always check the policy's formulary (a list of covered drugs) to see which medications are included and at what cost.