What Parents Need to Know About Health Insurance

As a parent, you want to make sure your child gets the medical care he or she needs. A family health plan is the first step toward ensuring your children get access to quality health care providers to treat everyday illnesses or more serious conditions that require surgery or hospitalization.

Every family’s circumstance is different, but the following are the basics of what parents need to know about health insurance coverage:

Medical Family Policy

Family policies provide health insurance for children’s preventive medical care, emergency care or inpatient hospital care. That means the insurance policy will pay a portion of the costs when a child sees a doctor for a checkup, vaccinations, an accidental injury such as a broken arm, a surgical procedure, or treatment for a chronic health condition.


Health insurance also covers your child’s dental care, as long as they are 18 or younger. Benefits include preventive care twice a year, including an oral exam with an evaluation of gum health, dental X-rays, cleaning, flossing and plaque and tartar removal.

Your dentist may recommend additional treatments such as fillings for cavities or sealants to protect your child’s tooth enamel. Health insurance will cover a portion of the costs for these treatments.


If you child wears glasses, he or she will benefit from a policy that includes vision coverage. Your health plan will pay part of the cost of glasses or contacts, vision testing and visits to an optometrist or ophthalmologist.

Managing Costs

Family health insurance usually covers the majority of your children’s health care costs, but you should expect to pay some yourself. These are called out-of-pocket costs, and they include your deductible, coinsurance or both.

There are some exceptions. Your health plan will generally pay all of the costs when you take your child to an in-network doctor for checkups and immunizations. Keep in mind that you will pay more in coinsurance for trips to the emergency room than for a doctor’s office visit. If your child becomes sick with a minor illness, it’s more economical to see your pediatrician. If you can’t get an appointment, an urgent care center is generally a better option than an emergency room for minor problems like runny noses and sore throats.

Health insurance can be a confusing topic, especially when you’re seeking coverage for your children. By considering what parents need to know about insurance, selecting a plan that’s right for your family becomes much easier.

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