Frequently-Asked Questions About Health Insurance in the U.S.

May 19, 2020

Health insurance is probably something I can't do without, right?

Correct. Recent estimates hold that more than 40 million Americans lack health insurance. Make sure you’re not one of them. The good news is that most employers offer health insurance to employees, usually at fairly reasonable group rates. Most plans boil down to a choice of two options, known as managed care and fee-for-service.

Does health insurance help if I'm sick or injured and unemployed for a while?

Partially. Health insurance only helps to pay your medical expenses. To keep income coming in if you can't work for a time, look into getting disability insurance. This is one of the more commonly overlooked types of insurance, and one that most working families really need. It pays you an income if you're incapable of generating your own income for any period of time.

How do I know if my doctor is covered by a certain plan?

To find out if your doctors and other health care providers are covered by your new plan, or to find a covered provider if you don’t have one yet:

  1. Check your health plan’s provider directory. You can get this by contacting your provider, visiting their website
  2. Call your insurer to ask about specific providers. This number is on your insurance card and the insurer’s website
  3. Call your doctor’s office. They can tell you if they accept your health plan

Will my health insurance cover the costs of coronavirus testing and treatment?

It depends. With the exception of Original Medicare, health insurance differs greatly in the U.S., depending on where you live and how you obtain your coverage.

However, health plans that are not considered minimum essential coverage are not required to cover COVID-19 testing under the federal rules. This includes short-term health plans, fixed indemnity plans, and healthcare sharing ministry plans. But some of these plans are voluntarily covering COVID-19 testing and telehealth, so the specifics depend on the plan.