Insurance Basics

Most people get health insurance through a job-based health plan, or they buy it themselves from an insurance company. 
If you have to buy insurance on your own, many kinds of private health insurance policies are for sale. Different kinds of policies can offer very different kinds of benefits and can limit your access to some doctors, hospitals, or other providers. 
The kinds of benefits and which care providers your policy covers can make a big difference in your costs and the quality of care you get if you become ill.

Can I keep my current doctor?

Private health insurance plans often have networks of hospitals, doctors, specialists, pharmacies, and other health care providers. Networks include health care providers that have a contract with an insurer to take care of the plan’s members. 
When choosing a plan, review the list of providers that give care under the policy. If staying with your current doctors is important to you, check to see if they are included.
Depending on the type of policy you buy, care may be covered only when received from a network provider.  To get care from a specialist you may need a referral from your primary care doctor.


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