Understanding Health Insurance

Confused about deductibles, copays and coinsurance? Many people are.

Why is having health insurance important?

Because when you're sick or injured, health care can be very expensive.

Medical bills are one of the leading factors that push families toward bankruptcy and home foreclosure.1, 2, 3

We're breaking down the health insurance basics.

Because when you understand it, you're more likely to get preventive care, make better health decisions and even reduce your costs.

Everyone has questions about health insurance.

In fact, 52% of US consumers have what's called "low health care literacy."

That means trying to understand how health insurance works is frustrating for a whole lot of folks. And it can be a struggle to choose a health plan, manage doctor appointments and understand your medical bills.4

juggling health insurance questions
kid thinking about ideas

Welcome to our virtual classroom.

We'll explore Health Insurance 101, give you some straight talk about costs, and hopefully, bring you a little clarity on how health insurance works.

See How Health Insurance Works

The information shown here is for educational purposes. All health plans are not the same! It's important that you read the details of your own health plan or any plan you are thinking about buying.

What's driving the high cost of health insurance?

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association says that 3 factors are driving up health care costs in the US:

  1. Prescription drug spending
  2. Treating chronic diseases and conditions, including arthritis, diabetes, cancer and obesity
  3. Poor lifestyle choices, including obesity, smoking and alcohol use


Blue Cross NC members have lots of questions, too. Here's what they ask about most:

Paying Insurance Bills

For many people, the bills that come with health care can be overwhelming. Here's what you need to know.

Paying Insurance and Medical Bills

Cost Sharing

You and your health insurance company are partners working together to pay for your health care.

Why doesn't insurance pay the bills?

Where to Go for Health Care

Your experience – your time, cost and hassle – is very different based on where you go.

ER vs. Urgent Care vs. My Doctor

Getting Care, Controlling Costs

Tips for Managing Your Costs & Care

Understanding Drug Coverage

How Drug Benefits Work

Words You Need To Know

Confusing Insurance Words

Still have questions? Blue Cross NC Centers bring the experts to you.

The friendly staff at our Blue Cross NC Centers can answer your health insurance questions online, over the phone or in person at our Raleigh, Charlotte and Boone locations.

Schedule an appointment with an insurance professional today.

The Point of Blue

Blog articles to help you better understand and control the cost of your health insurance.

health insurance options
Why Health Insurance is Important

The decisions you make now about your health can impact the rest of your life. You may skip annual health checkups and ignore minor health problems, but that can get worse and more expensive to treat over time.

Read more

5 Ways to Save on Health Care Costs Today
5 Ways to Save on Health Care Costs Today

It can feel as though health care costs are out of our control – and that’s because, a lot of the time, they are. However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t play an active role in reducing our health care costs. Here are five ways to save on your next health care expense.

Read more

A beginner’s guide to understanding health insurance
A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding Health Insurance

What is a deductible? How do I find out what my copay will be? No matter how long you stare at your insurance EOB, or explanation of benefits, it’s likely you still don’t understand it.

Read more

Why Having a Primary Care Doctor is Important
Why Having a Primary Care Doctor is Important

Your primary care doctor is your medical “home.” It’s the doctor you visit for most medical needs and the person you speak to about your health questions and concerns.

Read more