How Does Health Insurance Work And What Does It Cover?

Estimated read time 5 min read

Health insurance covers various types of injury and health expenditure. Let’s find out the most common types of health insurance offered by the various insurance companies, what coverage they provide and what factors influence the cost.

Health insurance is a policy that covers expenses incurred in private health care in the event of illness or injury. It is an optional cover, which is chosen in all those cases in which you prefer to have an alternative to public health or to protect yourself from any unforeseen events and health problems in case of travel. 

Health Insurance Work

Health insurance: what does it cover?

Health insurance covers different types of expenses, established by the contract.

The most classic insurances cover: 

  • Check-ups related to the investigation of a suspected disease
  • Examinations and treatments related to a disease
  • Examinations and treatment related to an accident
  • Hospital admissions due to illness or accident
  • The purchase of medicines always in the event of an illness or accident

Still sticking to a more traditional type of health policy, here are the expenses not covered :

  • Aesthetic interventions.
  • Interventions for physical defects or pre-existing diseases.
  • Dental expenses (other than those resulting from accidents or serious illnesses).
  • Charges for a nutritionist or other diet-related advice.
  • Accidents or illnesses resulting from addiction or abuse of alcohol, drugs, or psychotropic drugs.

The various types of health insurance

Insurance companies offer various health policies, which we can group into different categories: 

  • Traditional insurance: a type of medical insurance for the individual or for the whole family, which generally conforms to what was said in the previous chapter.
  • Home Care Insurance: A health insurance that helps you if you need home care, for example, because you have had an injury or illness. It includes home medical visits, home delivery of medicines, nursing care, and so on.
  • Accident insurance: a specific health policy for accidents, for example, those that can occur while driving.
  • Permanent disability insurance: in the event of permanent disability, it provides cash compensation.
  • Dental Care Insurance: While dental care is generally not covered by medical insurance, as we have said, there are policies that cover part of it. For example, checkups, x-rays, and extractions. 

Special services

There are policies that include some special services and coverage. These include, for example, legal protection in the event of damage due to medical treatment or visits; the coverage of services necessary during hospitalization or convalescence and not strictly related to the injured or sick person, such as babysitter or dog sitter; or even compensation for lost earnings during days of illness or injury.

How does health insurance work?

If you want to take out health insurance, our first tip is not to forget some important issues, which have to do with your age and your health. 

Keep in mind that most policies have age limits, which means that they cannot be taken out by people over an age that varies from company to company, and that can range from 60 to 75 years. There are also categories that insurance companies can choose not to insure, such as AIDS patients, drug addicts, alcoholics, or those who are insulin-addicted.

When signing medical insurance, you will need to fill out a detailed questionnaire on your health status. It is advisable, before doing so, to speak with your doctor, in order to provide up-to-date and correct information. It is very important to report any pre-existing health problems to the insurance company, as well as to report the emergence of medical conditions during the coverage period. 

That said, when you need it, health insurance basically works like that of a car: just contact its assistance service, and it will take action to direct you to a private facility or healthcare professional to receive treatment. Some insurances offer medical advice 24/7, with professionals always available.  

The method of payment of the coverage varies from policy to policy and must be verified in the contract. For example, there are policies that pay the health facility directly, while others provide for an advance on expenses by the insured, which is then reimbursed by the company. 

Travel health insurance: how does it work? 

When going abroad, travel health insurance becomes indispensable and is even required by many countries, for example, for issuing a visa. A foreign health insurance allows coverage of health costs deriving from illness or indicative when you are outside Italy, and it is essential to face your journey peacefully.  

Generally, if there are two types, depending on the countries you travel to:

  • Traditional travel health insurance: valid in almost all countries of the world, its cost depends on the country of destination and the age of the insured.
  • Health insurance for the United States and Canada: countries where, as is well known, health care costs are particularly expensive and which therefore require specific policies. 

Each policy of this type has a maximum coverage figure based on the cost of healthcare in the country of destination, any additional services requested, and the age of the insured. Likewise, it will be more or less expensive. To find out the best travel insurance available, you can visit the dedicated section on, where you can also request a  travel insurance quote.

What is the cost of health insurance? 

The cost of health insurance varies widely and depends on various factors, including the age and pre-existing health condition of the policyholder, the type of coverage required, the services available, and so on. As you can easily understand, a very broad-coverage health policy for an older person will be more expensive than a more partial policy taken out by a young and healthy person.

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