While not all people choose to carry health insurance, those who are better able to find the type of treatment they need when a serious condition sticks. The most common benefits of health insurance are doctor visits, hospitalization, prescription drugs and preventive care. Vision and mental health benefits may also be offered.
Visiting the doctor is often the cheapest aspects of health care coverage, but that does not mean it is inexpensive. The average doctor visit can run really high or more for a basic exam. Blood test, cultures, immunization and other procedures can quickly triple or quadruple that cost. It is tough to bear such cost in the expensive pace of life.
Hospitalization is where the benefits of having health insurance can clearly be seen. The average daily cost of non- critical stay at the hospital is more than your pocket’s allowance. Health insurance benefits typically pay 80 percent to 90 percent of the costs after the deductible has been reached. Further, there is usually an annual maximum out of pocket amount of several thousand dollars. Once that is reached, the insurance pay 100 percent of the cost.
As medical research and new technology find more cures and ways to cope with more ailments, the demand for prescription drugs continues to grow. These drugs can often be quite expensive, especially if generics are not available. Prescription drugs coverage can substantially reduce the amount a patient pays for these medications, usually with no deductible required. The patient’s share of cost may be in the form of co- pay or certain percentage of the entire cost.
As more of a focus is put on preventive care, insurance companies are responding accordingly, offering more benefits in that area. This may include coverage for annual physicals and tests, as well as covering for expenses for some family planning methods. Insurance companies see such benefits as an investment, possibly helping to avoid larger cost in the future.
In some cases, vision benefits may be included as a part of standard policy offered by an employer. In other cases this may be a part of premium coverage package, vision benefits may pay for a doctor’s exam, eye glasses, contact lenses or all of these things. Some packages may offer full coverage and some May only pay a percentage. Some coverage’s could even offer permanent vision correction benefits, such as Lasik surgery.
In the past, mental health coverage was a rarity in the standard medical package. Now, it is included much more often. The push for parity, meaning coverage that is as good for mental health as it is for physical health, has become a common theme for some special interest groups (see resources below). Mental health coverage often pays for counselling sessions with psychologist and visit with a psychiatrist.