What is an insurance premium?

Agreed upon fees paid for coverage of medical benefits for a defined benefit period. Premiums can be paid by employers, unions, employees, or shared by both the insured individual and the plan sponsor.

What is a medical savings accounts (MSA) or health savings account (HSA)?

Savings accounts designated for out-of-pocket medical expenses. In an MSA, employers and individuals are allowed to contribute to a savings account on a pre-tax basis and carry over the unused funds at the end of the year. One major difference between a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and a Medical Savings Account (MSA) is the ability under an MSA to carry over the unused funds for use in a future year, instead of losing unused funds at the end of the year.  Unlike FSAs, most MSAs are combined with a high deductible or catastrophic health insurance plan.

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What does maximum out-of-pocket expense mean?

The maximum dollar amount a group member is required to pay out of pocket during a year. Until this maximum is met, the plan and member shares in the cost of covered expenses. After the maximum is reached, the insurance carrier pays all covered expenses, often up to a lifetime maximum.