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How to understand the costs and terms of major health insurance

published to March 8, 2018

Insurance plans may differ in the providers you can see and the amount you have to pay. Understanding the costs and major health insurance terms is important. That way, you’ll know what services the plan pays for and how much each visit or medication costs.

Explanation of important keywords

  • Deductible: Amount due for covered medical services before the health insurance or plan begins paying.
  • Out-of-pocket: An amount paid as part of the cost of a medical service or item, such as a doctor’s visit.
  • mutual aid: Your responsibility for the cost of covered medical services. Usually calculated as a percentage of the authorized amount for the service, such as 20%.
  • premium: The amount you pay for your health insurance or plan each month.
  • Communication network: Doctors, hospitals and suppliers contracted by health insurance companies to provide medical services to their members.

Browse our glossary For more information on health insurance definitions, get the following information: how costs work together.

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