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health insurance

What is health insurance?

  • Health insurance – also referred to as as medical insurance – refers to insurance that covers the cost of a policyholder’s medical expenses. How much the insurance covers – and how much the policyholder pays – depends on the specifics of the policy itself, with specific rules and regulations that apply to some plans.
  • Types of insurance include individual health insurance, group health insurance (both large-group and small-group), Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare and insurance for government employees (FEHB).
  • The Affordable Care Act – also known as Obamacare – was intended to increase the percentage of Americans who have health coverage by expanding Medicaid, making private coverage more affordable via tax credits, and by requiring individual market insurers to accept all applicants, regardless of their medical history.
  • Individual health insurance includes ACA-compliant health insurance – which is major medical insurance that was mandated by the law to include essential health benefits and offer coverage on a guaranteed-issue basis – as well as grandmothered and grandfathered plans (no longer sold to new enrollees, but still in force for people who have opted to keep them).
  • Individuals also have the option to purchase coverage that isn’t compliant with the ACA, such as short-term health insurance and other condition-specific and disease-specific coverage such as cancer insurance. These plans do not fulfill the ACA’s individual mandate, but remain available for purchase in most states.