Insurance Terms Explained

Shopping around for insurance can be very hard at the best of times, even when you do speak the language it can be hard to fully understand what something means. So, when you are an international student and need to purchase insurance, it can be even harder to understand what everything means when English is not your first language.

So, at International Student Insurance, we have decided to write a comprehensive guide to insurance terms and words so that you know what they mean…..

1 – Premium
The Premium is the price you will need to pay in order to be insured. So if you find out that the cost per month is $45 for example, then this is your premium and what you will need to pay in order to be insured under the plan

2 – Deductible
A deductible is a payment that you, as the insured, will need to make before the plan will start to pay for your insurance needs. There are two main types of deductible, a one time deductible and a per injury or illness deductible. To give you an example of how it will work, if you had a $100 one time deductible and you went to the doctors for the first time – you would need to pay the first $100 and then you will be covered as per your policy (you would not have to pay your deductible again, you pay it only once). Likewise, if you had a $100 per injury or illness deductible, this $100 would need to be paid for each specific injury or illness you had, and then the insurance would pay anything above and beyond this.

In the UK and parts of Europe this is also known as an excess.

3 – Coinsurance
Some plans may have what is called “coinsurance” which is a percentage that you will have to pay. For example a plan may have 80/20 coinsurance which means the plan will pay 80% of your medical expenses and then you would need to pay the remaining 20%. Some plans will however have a coinsurance set at 100% which means the insurance will pay 100% of your medical expenses.

4 – Network/ PPO
The network, or PPO (Preferred Provider Network) as it is sometimes known, is the network of doctors that you can go to under the insurance plan. Most policies will refer to this as “in network” and “out of network”.

5 – URC (Usual, Reasonable and Customary)
This is the amount the insurer will pay for a procedure or operation. To give you an example the insurer will not pay $5,000 for an operation that only normally costs $2,000.

6 – Certificate Period
This is the time you are insured under the plan, so if you have purchased a plan for 6 months your certificate period will be this 6 months

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