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Catastrophic Health Insurance

What is a Catastrophic Health Insurance Policy?  What does it cover?

Catastrophic health insurance is a high deductible, low premium health insurance policy.  This type of plan usually does not pay for regular doctor visits (check ups, etc.) but covers major hospital and medical expenses.  People who choose this policy are generally healthy and do not require regular medical attention but want protection in case of emergency.

Most catastrophic health plans cover hospital stays, x-rays, and surgical expenses.  Mental health care and maternity care are usually not covered.    

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Who Needs a Catastrophic Health Insurance Policy?

The two primary groups of people who buy catastrophic health insurance are twenty-somethings and adults between the ages of 50 and 64. 

Young adults usually purchase this type of health insurance because they are either self employed and need affordable health insurance or are employed but do not receive sufficient health insurance coverage from their employers. 

Older adults usually purchase catastrophic health insurance to protect themselves financially in case they suffer a heart attack, stroke, are diagnosed with cancer, etc.  This person is usually rather healthy to begin with and does not require regular doctor visits.

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Who is usually ineligible for Catastrophic Health Insurance?

People with existing conditions (AIDS, emphysema, heart disease, diabetes, etc.) are not eligible for catastrophic health insurance.

How much does a Catastrophic Health Insurance Policy cost in relation to other health insurance products?

The premiums (monthly payments) for a catastrophic health insurance policy are quite low, but the deductibles are quite high (deductible options usually begin at $500 and can go up into the thousands).  If you need to go to the hospital, you will have to pay up to your deductible limit before you start reaping the financial benefits of your policy.  People who choose this policy should be sure that they have enough money set aside in order to pay their deductible if necessary.

Many policies also have a $1 million to $3 million lifetime payment cap.  If your policy has a lifetime cap of $1 million, then you will not be required to pay for any medical attention covered by your policy once you have paid $1 million for such services. 

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What are some alternatives to Catastrophic Health Insurance?

People seeking alternatives to the catastrophic health care plan should consider other high deductible health insurance plans.