Health care finances/health care payment system
Co-payments are fees paid by patients directly to medical service providers in addition to any insurance coverage they receive. These payments may be required for a variety of services such as doctor’s visits, prescription drugs, and laboratory tests. The purpose of co-payments is twofold: to reduce the financial burden on insurers and to encourage greater fiscal responsibility among patients. By requiring that patients pay for a portion of their care up front, it helps keeps costs down for everyone involved since insurers don’t have to cover the entire cost on their own. Additionally, it incentivizes people to be more mindful about their healthcare decisions since they will ultimately have some skin in the game with each visit or purchase.
Other patient payment responsibilities may include deductibles which are flat fees that must be paid before an insurance plan kicks in or coinsurance which requires a percentage of all covered expenses (e.g., 80/20 split where insurer covers 80% and patient pays 20%). All of these measures help ensure that both entities share some degree of responsibility when it comes time to foot the bill so that neither one is left shouldering too much cost over the long run.