• Health care is a hot topic, and the United States is wrestling with health-care reform. Still, a large number of people are either not insured at all or are underinsured. You may think that you are healthy enough to take the risk of not carrying medical insurance, but just one serious condition cropping up unexpectedly can ruin you financially. Cancer or another major disease can come out of nowhere. You should be prepared. Debt from medical care can follow you for as long as you live.

    Comprehensive vs. Supplemental Plans

    Major medical insurance is health-care coverage that provides benefits for most types of medical expenses. Major medical insurance offers fairly complete coverage with few gaps, and it covers a broad range of expenses, including visits to the hospital and to doctors. Major medical insurance policies are divided into two general groups: comprehensive major medical insurance and supplemental major medical insurance. Comprehensive major medical insurance combines basic medical coverages in a single policy. Supplemental insurance is used to back up a comprehensive policy. Insurance policies differ on the maximum they will pay out, the amount of deductibles, whether the insured is responsible for the a percentage of costs, and whether a stop-loss provision is included--which means that the insured person does not have to pay additional costs once a predetermined dollar limit of expenses has been reached.

    Covered Expenses

    There are many factors involved with health care of any type. Unexpected expenses can add up quickly. Consider this list of expenses that will be typically covered under a major medical health insurance policy: Hospital inpatient care including intensive and cardiac care if necessary. This also includes room and board. Hospital and surgical services and supplies. Blood and blood products such as plasma. Oxygen services. Nursing home care. Physicians' diagnostic services and surgical service costs if needed. Nursing care in and out of the hospital. Prescription drugs in and out of the hospital. Home health care. Prosthetic devices. Rental of durable medical equipment including walkers and wheelchairs. Anesthesia services. Casts, braces, crutches and splints. Ambulance services including helicopter and airplane transportation. X-rays, diagnostic and laboratory tests. Radiological therapy services.

    A Personal Note

    I was unexpectedly diagnosed with a rare genetic liver disease at age 28. My condition resulted in my needing a complete liver transplant. The total bill for the transplant and associated services was over $750,000. Without major medical insurance my family and I would have been financially devastated. We would have never been able to recover from that amount of debt.


    Major Medical Insurance


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