Now that we’re all being required to buy health insurance thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, it would be nice if we understood what we’re getting, right?
Below are the most common health insurance terms that confuse you and…everybody else.
Coinsurance: Your share of the costs of a covered health care service, calculated as a percent (for example, 20%) of the eligible expense for the service. You pay coinsurance after you pay your deductible.
Copay/copayment: A fixed amount (for example, $35) you pay for a covered health care service, usually when you receive the service. The amount can vary by the type of covered health care service.
Deductible: The amount of money you owe for health care services your health insurance covers before your health insurance or plan begins to pay.
Minimal essential coverage: The type of coverage an individual needs to have to meet the individual responsibility requirement under the Affordable Care Act.
Network: The facilities, providers, and suppliers your health insurer or plan has contracted with to provide health care services.
Network provider: A provider who has a contract with your health plan’s network to provide services to you at a discount.
Premium: The amount that must be paid for your health insurance. You usually pay it monthly or quarterly.