Hospital Insurance

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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The majority of private health care plans have at least some provisions for hospital visits. Even if benefits aren't included in the packages you're considering, they're almost always available as add-ons, and are highly recommended. The cost of a hospital stay, even a brief one, relative to that of a doctor's visit is exorbitant and easily justifies the few extra dollars it takes to cover yourself in an emergency.

The average person never anticipates a bout with a serious disease, which is why so many folks forgo these provisions. Rather, they imagine they'll fight off one or two colds each year and maybe need a prescription here or there to battle an infection. At the worst, they'll sprain an ankle or wrist or, if they're especially unlucky, break a bone. That's why it can be so devastating to learn that one needs a battery of tests to diagnose a mysterious illness or an extended hospital stay to treat a nasty bug--or worse.

The Benefits of Hospital Insurance

Each insurance company's policies differ substantially when it comes to hospital benefits but tend to include the same basic provisions. In-patient benefits generally include all x-rays, surgical supplies, drugs, and rehabilitative services, just to name a few. Expecting mothers have their labor and delivery costs covered, as well as any anesthesia or other drugs. Still, check with your customer service or account rep when you're looking over a prospective policy's points to learn precisely what is and what isn't included.

Finally, there are services that may not be included with your standard hospital insurance policy. Private nurses and doctors are usually restricted, as are special accommodations requested by the patient. Surprisingly, ambulance service and other forms of transport may not come standard with many hospital insurance policies but may be added for an additional fee, and one that's well worth paying.


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