In addition to the monthly premium, there are several other costs associated with major medical insurance coverage that you should understand.

The first cost you'll encounter is the deductible. The deductible is a pre-arranged dollar figure that you'll have to satisfy before the health insurance company begins to contribute any money to your health care costs.

Your deductible can be a significant out-of-pocket expense, particularly because it must be satisfied each year before the company pays. (So paying $1000 this year for medical services will not decrease your deductible next year.)

Deductibles can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. Some health insurance policies do not have deductibles ever and others have them only in certain cases.

The other expenses are co-payments and co-insurance. All medical insurance policies will ask that you agree to one or both of these charges. Co-insurance means you'll be required to pay a certain percentage of your health care costs, and a co-payment means you'll be required to pay a certain dollar figure for each service.

These are usually charged in addition to a deductible. However, in either case, the medical insurance company should pay a substantial amount (or percentage) in comparison to your financial responsibility.

The point of having medical insurance is, after all, to alleviate the financial burden on you and your family in case of medical emergencies and/or chronic illness.

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