|Although many people take the necessary steps to ensure good health, its
easy to take your health for granted. Yet the possibility of having to
endure a lifelong illness or the loss of normal body functions does exist.
And today, health problems can often mean high medical
Staggering health-care costs have driven both the demand
for and the price
of medical insurance sky high. The availability of group coverage through
employment has helped many Americans face such costs. However, people who
are not currently covered by an employer have few affordable sources for
group coverage. If you are not covered at work, inquire about coverage
through your religious organization, professional organizations, or alumni
seeking medical coverage on their own can rely on an individual
policy. And if youre elderly, you can also rely to a limited degree on the
benefits provided under Medicare.
health-care insurance covers hospital room and board, medical
equipment and supplies, regular health-care services, and sometimes
outpatient care, up to a specified limit. Unfortunately, it is not
considered adequate medical coverage. The maximum benefit is not high enough
to cover a long-term or catastrophic illness. And the benefits do not keep
up with rapidly rising medical costs. Many advisors recommend adding a
supplementary major medical plan or upgrading basic coverage to a
medical covers health-care costs after a high deductible has been met.
After this, the insurer and the patient share medical costs, with the
insurer usually bearing 70 to 80 percent of the expense, while the remaining
portion, called coinsurance, is paid by the insured. Coinsurance is usually
limited to a certain dollar amount, after which the insurer pays 100
percent. If major medical coverage with a low maximum benefit is offered by
an employer, you can also purchase an excess major medical coverage policy
to supplement the benefits of the company policy.
medical insurance combines basic coverage with a major medical
plan. This eliminates the paperwork involved in having several health plans
and may also reduce out-of-pocket costs because you have to satisfy only one
deductible. The maximum benefit is specified in the policy. Be sure to
review policy features carefully. In order to help keep premiums within
reach, you may want to consider a deductible at the dollar amount for which
you can safely self-insure. Remember, the cost and availability of an
individual health insurance policy can depend on factors such as age, health
(pre-existing conditions), and the type and amount of insurance purchased.
In addition, a physical examination may be required.
is the U.S. governments health-care insurance program for the
elderly. It is available to people aged 65 and older as well as certain
hospital insurance, provides basic coverage for hospital care as
well as limited skilled nursing and home health care.
B, supplementary medical insurance, costs \$58.70 per month. It covers
80 percent of reasonable health-care costs after a \$100-per-year deductible
has been satisfied.
© 2003 Emerald Publications