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What are the major types of health insurance policies?

There are several types of insurance available. The following types of coverage are common:

  • Basic, which includes:
    • Coverage for the hospital room and board, nursing care, lab tests, x-rays, operating rooms, drugs and medicines taken in the hospital and the ambulance ride to get you there;
    • Surgical Expense coverage for surgeons' fees; and
    • Regular Medical coverage to pay doctor's fees for non-surgical care.
  • Major Medical, which is a back-up plan for larger, unpredictable costs that are not covered under a basic plan. It might have a lifetime limit of $25,000 to $1,000,000.
  • Comprehensive, which has a very broad range of services and high policy limits. It combines both basic and major medical in concept. Comprehensive is the most common type of medical insurance and is usually less expensive than if you bought them separately.




Brenda Procter, M.S., Consumer and Family Economics, College of Human Environmental Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia













If you'd like to learn more about this and other personal finance topics, the University of Missouri offers 'Personal & Family Finance,' a correspondence course, through the Center for Distance and Independent Study (800-609-3727). Information about this course is available at





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Last update: Monday, July 21, 2008




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