Health insurance is a type of insurance wherein the insurer pays the costs of the insured if the insured becomes sick due to causes covered in the policy, or due to accidents. In some countries, medical expenses are covered by the Government; however, Health Insurance primarily refers to market-based private health insurance. In some countries, like Britain, private Health Insurance exists side by side with State Insurance (National Health Service). The concept of Health Insurance first developed in 1694, although till into the early 20th century, Health Insurance provided cover only against disability from some catastrophe. Health Insurance as we know it today, therefore, is a modern phenomenon.
In the Health Insurance sector, the motive of the insurer to sustain a profit clashes against the most basic human right of the insured to retain a healthy life, and this has given rise to many controversies. It is argued by the insurer that only those with suspect medical history take Insurance cover, thus raising the cost of Insurance for healthy men. They also allege a moral hazard saying that protection provided by Insurance cover inspires irresponsible behavior, further raising the premium prices. There are other reasons for the high premiums. Thus, the raising of life expectancy has resulted in a demographic shift wherein the majority are in an advanced age and thus, more susceptible to diseases. The sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise, bad habits like smoking and drinking, fast moving life, and an array of other reasons make for unhealthy living.
However, health being an object of primary acquisition, most people are happy to pay Insurance to cover themselves against health risks. In USA, upto 80% of the individuals are covered by some form of insurance. In this section of the webdirectory, we provide links to vendors selling various forms of Health Insurance, and other allied information.