Health insurance is money paid for medical costs. Sometimes health insurance may be guarantied by the government, or provided by private organizations. In the first case it would be called social. The types of purchasing also may be different: it may be a group purchase (e.g., by a firm to cover its employees) or an individual consumer one. In both cases, people pay taxes or to premiums in order to protect themselves from high or unforeseen healthcare charges.
The idea of health insurance was offered by Hugh the Elder Chamberlen in 1694. First clients of these insurance companies had to pay money for medical treatment from their own sources. But later the system has developed and looked like modern one, when private organizations pay for all the client's expenses.
A health insurance policy is a document, signed between an individual or his employer and an insurance company. This document or a contract can be revitalized every month or every year. The health insurance company covers a type and amount of health care costs that are determined in advance.
There are documents which regulate this or that very health insurance contract. In these documents all the amounts covered by the insurance company are listed. The examples of these amounts are: deductible (the insurant must pay certain sum of money before the health insurance provider pays its share), co-payment (the sum that the insurant has to pay in cash before the health insurance provider makes payments for a particular service or visit), coinsurance (a percentage of the overall charge that insured person can also pay), capitation (an insurer pays an amount to a health care provider who agrees to treat all members of the insurer) and others.
If we compare health insurance services in different countries, we'll see the following picture.
In Australia public health system is called Medicare. It provides free access to hospital treatment, and its wastes are covered by tax payments. As for the private organizations, here we can mention Medibank Private. Though this establishment is owned by the government, it deals with businesses like other private organizations. Here we can also name HCF Health Insurance, GMHBA Health Insurance, websites like moneytime and iSelect.
Health care in Canada is ruled by the Canada Health Act according to which health care is provided for all people free of charge. Though private health insurance is used in the country, it can be available only for services that the public health plans do not pay; for example, prescription drug plans and private rooms or semi-private in hospitals.
The World Health organization considers the French model of health insurance to be the best in the whole world, because it provides a high quality of care and almost total patient freedom. One of the most prominent facts in French health care is the following: if a person is very ill, he will pay less for the health care. One should point that people who has serious or chronic illnesses almost don't have to pay.