Health insurance

From ArticleWorld

Health insurance is a policy that will pay specified sums for medical expenses or treatments. It is a generic term that applies to all types of insurance reimbursement for losses caused by bodily injury or sickness or for expenses of medical treatment. Health insurance policies offer many options and vary in their approaches to coverage. Included under the heading are various types of insurance such as accident insurance, disability income insurance, medical expense insurance, and also accidental death and dismemberment insurance.

Thus, such insurance may cover some or all of the expenses of hospitalization, surgery, physicians’ fees, drugs and medicines, laboratory tests, X-rays, and other diagnostic procedures, radiation therapy, maternity and nursing care, eyeglasses, crutches, and prostheses. In the United States, due to the very high cost of medical care (including medicines) the system relies heavily on health and medical insurance. It can be privately managed or can be part of a government run scheme.


Health insurance as a term was first introduced in 1694 but was accepted as an important area of insurance only in the late 19th century. Even then it was introduced as disability insurance which meant that it covered only such illnesses or accidents that culminated in disabilities, so much so that health insurance became synonymous with disability insurance. This practice of treating disability as health and vice-versa continued till the late 20th century and people were required to pay for normal health care themselves.


Most countries have two kinds of health insurance, one funded and managed by the government and the other private. The main complaints against private health insurance companies are that they only give insurance to healthy people or that they have different premium rules for different people depending upon their health. Also, private health companies increase their premiums without prior notice so that patients may find themselves paying enhanced rates just when they need the services of the insurance company.

The major complaint against public health services is that their health care is not related to quality or speed. Thus patients have to wait a long time to receive care. Then again, in Public health care the patients are not free to choose their own doctors; the government chooses the doctors who attend the patients.