Types of Coverage

There are two types of injury and sickness insurance most people need--insurance to cover medical expenses and insurance to help replace income if you become disabled. Health insurance generally provides payment for medical treatment and/or hospital stays. It is often available on a group basis through an employer, union, or association.

Basic Coverage. Most people consider a basic health insurance policy first. These policies pay toward the costs of a hospital room and care while you are in the hospital. It covers some hospital services and supplies, such as x-rays and prescribed medicine. Basic coverage also pays toward the cost of surgery, whether it is performed in or out of the hospital, and for some doctor visits.

Major Medical Coverage. Major medical policies provide the most comprehensive coverage for medical services either in or out of the hospital. The benefits are not listed by procedure as they are in a basic policy. There may be a limit on total benefits of $250,000 or higher. The limit may be for a lifetime or for one injury or sickness.