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What is the difference between Health Insurance and a Health care Program?



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The first difference between health insurance and health care coverage is the type and amount of coverage that is provided. With most health insurances you pay for the amount and type of coverage you want and can add or delete specific types of insurance based on your needs and ability to pay.


A health care program, on the other hand provides specific coverage for specific types of medical care and you rarely have the option of increasing, decreasing or changing coverage. Additionally, health care programs, like HMOs and PPOs are limited to specific physicians, hospitals, and services, while a lot of private insurance companies offer the ability to choose your physician and the right to see a specialist without a referral.


Additionally, there are many times that people who purchase pay for health coverage through their employers don’t realize that they are being covered under a health care program, rather than by insurance. Even if you have coverage through a well-known insurance provider, such as Blue Cross/Blue Shield, you may be under a health care program rather than an insurance plan. It’s best to know what you are paying for.


Another difference between health insurance and health care programs can be that some health care programs are offered through state or private non-profit programs at clinics and hospitals, either for free or basing the cost of care on a persons income.


Some health care programs don’t even cover direct medical costs. They are, in reality, disability programs that pay you a set amount of money for each day you are in the hospital or seen in an emergency room. These programs are often associated with life insurance plans. To be certain what type of plan you are on, you should check with your health care coverage provider or private health insurance agent.


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