Health Insurance Basics: A Comprehensive Guide

When choosing a medical or health insurance plan, it’s important to take into account one’s specific needs and budget. Also, it’s necessary to consider all the available options in the market. However, we know this is easier said than done, and there are various confusing factors and terminology to keep in mind, which can make the process of picking the right health insurance plan a lot harder. That’s why we’ve put together this article that lists a few basic elements about health insurance plans.

Types of Health Insurance Plans

Here’s a look at the different types of health insurance plans one can purchase:

– Employer-sponsored: This type of health insurance is what one gets through their employer. Typically, the employer pays for the coverage or splits the cost with the employee.

– Individual and family plans: These plans, also called Obamacare plans or Affordable Care Act plans, are available to everyone. People will need to buy these plans through their federal or state marketplace or via brokers.

– Medicare: Medicare is a federal health insurance program that is available to seniors who are 65 years and older. Eligible beneficiaries can also choose to get Medicare Advantage, which is sold by private insurers.

– Short-term plans: A short-term plan, as the name suggests, is temporary and can help bridge coverage gaps for a few months.

Cost of Health Insurance

The cost of a health insurance plan can vary significantly based on the level of coverage and type of plan one opts for. Even if one stays with the same health insurance provider year after year, the company will usually increase the cost of the plan every year. Given this, it’s a good idea to compare health insurance plans and the associated premiums every two years at least. However, on average, the health insurance premium for a relatively healthy adult is $484, while it is $1,230 for families.

Key Health Insurance Terms Explained


The premium is the amount of money one pays to their health insurance company every month to stay covered.


This term refers to the amount of money one must pay out-of-pocket before the company starts paying for the healthcare services policyholders use.


This is a type of cost-sharing payment one may have to incur when receiving certain health services or medications.