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How Health Insurance Works

Why America Relies on a Private Health Insurance Model

Health insurance is very complicated, and many people are overwhelmed and annoyed with the process. Here's an explanation of health insurance, and how it got to be the dominant delivery vehicle for health care in America.

The Real Purpose of Health Insurance

Since health insurance is the primary delivery vehicle for U.S. health care, people have lost sight of its underlying purpose. It's just like insurance for your car, home or apartment.

It's supposed to protect your life savings from the devastating costs of a major accident, medical emergency or a chronic disease.

But, unlike other insurance, health insurance makes it possible for you to get that health care when you need it. If you don't have car insurance, you can take the bus until you can afford to get your car fixed. If you break your leg, you can’t splint it yourself until you save up enough to go to the doctor.

Health insurance companies provide lots of choices. But that makes selecting a plan more complicated. You've got to wade through various combinations of deductibles, copayments, coinsurance and premiums.