The terms “health care” and “health insurance” are often used interchangeably today in the United States. However, the terms have completely different definitions. Have you ever wondered how knowing the difference between these terms could affect your overall health plan for the future?

What is health insurance?

Health insurance is defined as “insurance that compensates the insured for expenses or loss incurred for medical reasons, as through illness or hospitalization.” Common terms associated with “health insurance” include provider network, claims, co-payment, coverage, individual coverage, group coverage, deductible, etc. Health care insurance is provided by companies like Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Humana. The price providers set for their services is directly calculated from the prices healthcare providers set for theirs.

Several different factors are considered when pricing individual or group health insurance. The main factor is the cost set by healthcare providers and pharmaceutical companies.

What is health care?

Health care is defined as “the field concerned with the maintenance or restoration of the health of the body or mind.” This term is used as an umbrella term today for any type of procedure or method related to the care of a person’s physical or mental health. Overall, health care is a system of methods to help us maintain our body and mind.

There are several different types of health care treatment including primary, secondary, tertiary, quaternary, home and community, and urgent. Health care is also not limited to traditional medicine practices. It covers dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, nursing, allied health, and other similar areas of health. Due to advancements in science and technology, the health care field has grown significantly in recent years.

Through professional health care services, patients not only receive treatment for the illness or ailment they are suffering from, but the patient also receives any necessary guidance for preventing illness and disease in the future.

The health care industry is the industry in which medical professionals work. Health care is provided by doctors, nurses, dentists, therapists, hospital systems, and pharmaceutical companies. The price these medical professionals set for their products and services is the main driver of health insurance costs.

Why does knowing the difference matter?

Because the cost of health insurance is expected to continue to increase, understanding ways in which you can better manage your personal health care needs could ultimately save you money now, as well as the future.

Your personal health isn’t directly affected by the cost of your health insurance. However, conversely, the cost of your health insurance is directly affected by the state of your health, including managed behavioral health and mental health. Everyone’s health care needs are different. Depending on a person’s demographics, genetics, or even lifestyle, his or her health care plan will be unique to their situation. It’s safe to say health care isn’t a one size fits all system, and neither is health insurance.

When a person pays for his or her health insurance through an employer, they are usually given an option of filing for individual or group coverage. Group coverage will almost always have a higher deductible and premium than individual coverage each month, and that’s based on whether that employee needs to insure his or her family or not. You can see why it would be beneficial to find a health insurance plan to meet your unique health care needs.

Today there are several ways to shop around for health care insurance online. This makes it easier for people to create a flexible wellness plan that incorporates quality care while keeping the cost of their health insurance plan low.

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