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Common Insurance Vocabulary Terms
Catastrophic Coverage: This plan pays hospital and medical expenses above a certain (usually high) deductible. The maximum lifetime limit may be high enough to cover the cost of a catastrophic illness.
Claim: An official request for money or other benefits from the insurance company.
Co-insurance: A specified percentage of the cost of treatment the insured is required to pay for all covered medical expenses remaining after the deductible has been met.
Co-pay: A fixed dollar amount you pay at the time services are rendered. Typical co-pays are for office visits, prescriptions, or hospitalizations.
Deductible: The portion of your health care that you pay before insurance starts covering it. Typically, the higher the deductible, the lower the premiums.
Disability Income Insurance: This plan will provide you with an income if you become unable to work due to an injury or illness. Benefits are usually 60% of your income at the time of disability.
Long-term Care Policies: These cover medical care, nursing care, and certain in-home care if you ever become unable to care for yourself due to an extended illness or disability.
Primary Care Physicians: This doctor is chosen by you and will serve as your chief medical doctor.
Pre-existing Condition: An illness, disease, or condition an individual has at the time of enrollment in a health care plan.
Premiums: The monthly or quarterly payments paid for health insurance.
United Health Care has a more comprehensive dictionary of terms.
Reprinted with permission from Kelsey National Corporation.