There’s a saying that goes “health is wealth,” and nothing could be truer. A man might have all the money or power in the world, but all that goes out of the window when he becomes sick. You can’t enjoy good food, beautiful paintings or music if you’re in poor health. Neither can you give your best at work or enjoy spending quality time with your family at home. When it comes to health problems, even the strongest and the greatest can falter in fear; after all, even Alexander the Great’s wildly successful career came to an abrupt end when he fell sick of exhaustion and fever and eventually died. Seen in this light, it is not a nuclear bomb that’s the most terrifying way to end the world – it would be a microbe.
In order to help people take better care of their health in a practical sense as well as to provide them with a sense of security, many countries make health insurance mandatory for their citizens. Health insurance is also usually a part of the benefits and remuneration packages offered by corporations for their employees. But what exactly is health insurance?
Health insurance is simply a thing that protects an individual and his family members or dependents in case of the need for hospitalization or medication. It’s considered one of the essential components of public health care and a means of providing for the welfare of one’s employees. In the latter case, while the company might find itself spending some money in the event of a worker’s illness, it pays off in other forms such as increased productivity due to higher morale. A health insurance policy is a contract or an agreement between an individual and an insurance provider – for instance, between a citizen and the government agency in charge of public health care. It entails responsibilities on the part of both and may be renewable on a monthly or yearly basis, as is usually the case for private health care plans, or compulsory as in the case of public health care. The amounts shouldered by the insurer and the insured vary according to the specifications of the plan. There are cases where a minimum amount of expense is needed before a claim can be made. For others, there is a maximum amount which must be shouldered by the individual; any expenses beyond this are taken care of by the company. Sometimes, the claim is a percentage of the medical bill incurred.