Health Insurance Center

Health Insurance Q & As

Question 2 of 7 in Basics
What types of individual health insurance policies are available?
There are a variety of policies which insurance companies offer on an individual basis. Some of the more common types of policies include:

1. Major Medical - provides coverage for doctor visits, surgery and hospitalization or ongoing illnesses.

2. Hospital and Surgery - provides coverage solely related to hospital stays and surgical services, such as room and board, laboratory tests, X-rays, plus doctors’ charges

3. Hospital Confinement Indemnity - a policy designed to pay a set amount (an indemnity) for each day you are an "in-patient" at a hospital.

4. Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) - centralized service provider, commonly with a general practitioner (limited selection of participating doctors) coupled with coverage by specialists upon referral. Doctor visits, surgery, hospitalization and often reduced-rate prescription medicine are provided. May also cover preventive care, often not included in major medical policies.

5. Specified Disease (also called "Dread Disease") - covers costs associated with a single disease, such as cancer, AIDS, heart attack, etc.

6. Short-Term - typically a major medical policy but with coverage lasting only for a specified length of time. Might be purchased to cover the time you are between jobs.

7. Accident Only - provides coverage for doctor visits, surgery and hospitalization resulting from an accident (no coverage for disease or illness).

8. Dental - provides coverage for costs associated with dentists and orthodontists.

9. Vision - provides coverage for sight correction

10. Home-Health Care - care provided to enable you to remain in your home while receiving services which can range from assisted living (help around the house) to around-the clock nursing with other health care providers on call.

11. Long -Term Care - coverage provided to individuals who otherwise would not be able to take care of themselves. A range of services from delivery of prepared meals, assistance with managing the residence, to stays in residential facilities. Often associated with long-term illness and the elderly.

12. Limited - Benefit - not very common, a bare-bones type of coverage intended to cover specific situations.