What is health insurance?

There is no universal healthcare in the U.S., so most people in this country buy health insurance.

Health insurance protects you from owing a lot of money to doctors or hospitals if you get sick or hurt and need medical care. Health insurance can also help you pay for regular check-ups, laboratory tests, vaccines, and prescription medication.

To get health insurance, you need to choose a health insurance plan, sign up, and then make regular payments (called “premiums”) to a health insurance company. As long as you remain eligible and keep paying your premiums, you will be “covered.” This means that the health insurance company agrees to pay for part of your medical bills.