health insurance

noun
Updated on: 26 Jul 2017

Definition of health insurance

:insurance against loss through illness of the insured; especially :insurance providing compensation for medical expenses

First Known Use of health insurance

1901


Financial Definition of HEALTH INSURANCE

health insurance

What It Is

Health insurance is insurance that covers some or all of the costs of an individuals healthcare.

How It Works

Health insurance absorbs or offsets healthcare costs associated with, but not limited to, routine health examinations, specialist referral visits, inpatient and outpatient surgery, unforeseen eventualities such as illnesses or injuries, and prescription medication. Health insurance policies are categorized as privately paid for by an individual, publicly provided as a service through Social Security, or commercially arranged by a company as part of an employee benefit package.

Broader levels of health insurance coverage generally have higher premium costs. In many cases, the insured party is responsible for paying his/her healthcare provider an up-front, tax deductible amount called co-pay. Health insurance companies then may compensate healthcare providers directly or reimburse the policy holder based on the remaining portion of an itemized bill.

Why It Matters

Health insurance primarily protects individuals from the prohibitively high costs of surgical procedures, inpatient hospital care, and emergency attention. Though health insurance itself can become costly for a family, it is only a small fraction of the potential costs associated with unforeseen illnesses and emergencies (for example, the diagnosis and treatment of cancer or a heart attack).


Medical Dictionary

health insurance

noun

medical Definition of health insurance

:insurance against loss through illness of the insured; especially :insurance providing compensation for medical expenses

Law Dictionary

health insurance

noun

legal Definition of health insurance

:insurance against loss through illness or injury of the insured; especially :insurance providing compensation for medical expenses and often income for disability


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