A Few Key Terms
Have you ever received some random piece of mail or email to let you know that your health insurance policy has been renewed along with a long list of benefits? Well if you have ever tried to read one of these paper or electronic novels, it’s like learning a new language. Today, I am going to define a few common health insurance terms to help provide you with some clarity as most of you have just renewed a policy.
Copayment: This might be one that you are all familiar with. In case you aren’t though, a copayment is simply a flat fee that you pay for different medical services. For example, you may have a $15 copayment at your annual eye exam. Although you pay this amount, your insurance covers the rest.
Deductible: This is the amount of money that you must pay each year before your health insurance will start covering expenses. Having a low deductible is great because the higher your deductible is, the more money you have to pay before your insurance will cover expenses.
In-network provider: Whether you need to see a doctor, go to the hospital, or need services from a pharmacy; your insurer is going to have a list of in-network providers. This means that if you seek services from someone on this list, you are going to pay less money. Insurance companies have negotiated contracts with providers that say patients can receive discounts in exchange for insurance companies sending the patients to these providers. If you see a provider who is out-of-network your insurance may not cover the expenses as much.
Premium: The amount of money either you and/or your employer pay each month in exchange for health insurance.
Health insurance can be extremely complicated, but I hope that these few key terms provide you some clarity. Send us your health insurance related questions to Healthy.UNH@unh.edu, and we will answer them!
To learn more about the general ins and outs of healthcare, check out our Healthcare Consumerism page on our website!