Health insurance became a popular benefit offered by small and large employers alike, right before World War II. If you were lucky enough to have a job, you most probably were lucky enough to have some form of health insurance, even if it only covered major catastrophic issues.


These original forms of insurance were called indemnity plans. In some cases, they were simply referred to as an 80/20 plan. The insurance company would pay 80%, and of course the patient was responsible for the remaining 20%. However, these plans usually only covered what was considered to be catastrophic occurrences. Regular doctor visits or any type of preventive medicine was never included in these early plans.

In today’s economy, however, even two income families are having trouble paying for regular insurance premiums. When even a below average insurance plan demands premiums of a few hundred dollars a month for family coverage, many families are just finding it too difficult to keep up these payments. Instead, they have chosen to pay for everything, out of pocket. This includes regular doctor visits, tests, and even hospitalization and nursing care, if necessary.

Healthcare costs have risen to the point over the past few years that a large majority of people simply can’t afford the coverage. There are individual plans available that cost close to $100 a month in exchange for what is considered some very poor coverage with steep forced to give up health insurance altogether.

Even two income families that were once considered to be very well off are now forced into paying all doctor bills and even hospital stays from their own pocket. Very often, when considering that some families pay insurance premiums for years without putting in major claims for any health related issues, paying for occasional out-of-pocket expenses is cheaper in the long run.

These plans are very affordable, there are no lengthy contracts, and they cover everything, including office visits, preventive care, and in many cases, you can even have cosmetic surgery and still receive a very large discount on the surgery.

A popular option that has gained in popularity just over the last few years is not really a form of insurance, but it does help to reduce out-of-pocket medical costs. It is called a discount health insurance plan. These plans are available in every state, can easily be found online, and have many benefits that even insurance plans don’t offer. The major difference between these discount plans and a bona fide insurance program is that with the discount plan the patient is responsible for paying the entire bill.

These discount plans are very similar in theory to the PPO insurance plans, whereas the patient can go to any doctor, in any specialty, anywhere as long as the doctor accepts full payment from the patient under the regulations of that health discount plan.