The Ultimate Guide to Health Insurance: What You Need to Know

Health insurance can be a complex and confusing topic for many people, but it is crucial to maintaining good health and financial security. In this ultimate guide to health insurance, we will break down the different types of health insurance, explain essential terms, and provide tips for buying the right policy for you.

Types of Health Insurance

There are several different types of health insurance, but the most common include:

Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs): These plans typically offer lower out-of-pocket costs, but you are limited to a network of healthcare providers.

Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs): PPOs give you more flexibility in choosing your healthcare providers, but you may have to pay more out-of-pocket.

Exclusive Provider Organizations (EPOs): EPOs are similar to PPOs, but you are limited to a network of healthcare providers.

Point of Service (POS) Plans: POS plans are a hybrid of HMOs and PPOs, allowing you to choose your healthcare providers but with some restrictions.


Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) are two types of accounts that can help you save money on healthcare expenses.

An HSA is a tax-advantaged savings account that you can use to pay for medical expenses. You must have a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) to qualify for an HSA. Contributions to an HSA are tax-deductible, and the money can be invested and grown tax-free.

An HRA is an employer-funded account that reimburses you for eligible healthcare expenses. HRAs are funded solely by your employer and cannot be used with an HSA.

Understanding Key Health Insurance Terms

Here are some key health insurance terms you should know:

Premium: The amount you pay each month for your health insurance.

Deductible: The amount you must pay out-of-pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in.

Co-pay: A fixed amount you pay for each doctor’s visit or prescription.

Coinsurance: The percentage of the cost of covered services you must pay after you meet your deductible.

Out-of-pocket maximum: You will have to pay the most in a given year for covered services.

Health Insurance Metal Levels

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) created four metal levels for health insurance plans: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. The metal level indicates the percentage of healthcare costs the plan will cover.

Bronze plans typically have the lowest premiums but the highest out-of-pocket costs. Platinum plans have the highest premiums but the lowest out-of-pocket costs.

How Much Does Health Insurance Cost?

Health insurance costs vary depending on several factors, including your age, location, and health status. The average cost of health insurance for an individual is around $456 per month, and for a family, it is around $1,152 per month. However, you may qualify for subsidies or tax credits that reduce your monthly premiums.

When Can I Buy Health Insurance?

The open enrollment period for health insurance runs from November 1 to December 15 each year. However, you may be able to enroll outside of this period if you experience a qualifying life event, such as getting married, having a baby, or losing your job.


Health insurance is crucial for your well-being and financial security. Compare plans, premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket maximums to find affordable coverage that suits your needs. Consider your health status, family size, and subsidies available. Work with a licensed agent to find the right plan for you.

Choose Leland Smith Insurance Services for Personalized Health Insurance Coverage!

If you’re looking for expert guidance and personalized support in selecting the right health insurance plan for your needs, look no further than Leland Smith Insurance Services. Our team of licensed agents is here to help you navigate the complex world of health insurance, answer your questions, and find the coverage that fits your budget and lifestyle. Contact us today to learn more and get started.

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