Health care – Definition:- Health care or healthcare as a general term refers to the delivery of medical services by specialist providers, such as midwives, doctors, nurses, home health aides, vaccination technicians and physician's assistants. Usually such services receive payment from the patient or from the patient's insurance company, although they may be government-financed or delivered by charities or volunteers, particularly in poorer countries. Health care can form an enormous part of a country's economy. In 2000, health care costs paid to hospitals, doctors, diagnostic laboratories, pharmacies, medical device manufacturers etc., consumed an estimated 14 percent of the GNP of the United States, the largest of any country in the world. For the G7 countries the average is about nine percent. Health care services include preventive care, vaccination, diagnosis, prescribing and administration of medicine, surgery, observation, and attendance at childbirth. Prior to the popularization of the holistic neologism healthcare, English-speakers referred to medicine or to the health sector and spoke of the treatment and prevention of illness and disease. “The prevention, treatment, and management of illness and the preservation of mental and physical well-being through the services offered by the medical and allied health professions.” “In nothing do men more nearly approach the gods than in giving health to men” ~Cicero The issue of health care and health care reform is a topic of growing debate in the United States. Health care touches everyone. There are families who worry about their children and aging relatives; employers who must provide health insurance to their employees and the employees who need the benefits. In addition, there are the government officials and politicians who are concerned about the rising cost of health care; and, of course, the hospitals and doctors who are responsible for delivering health care. Having adequate health care is extremely important to people. Even successful medical treatment can involve pain, anxiety, risk, and, inevitably, lots of money. The last thing a patient in a hospital wants to think about is "how am I going to pay for all of this?" Ideally, instead of worrying about money, a patient should be concentrating on getting well. However, the whole subject of health insurance can be mystifying. Very often people do not fully understand their health insurance plans, and many people have run into problems because of their lack of understanding. This chapter is a starting point for becoming an informed health care consumer by providing valuable information to be used in making health care decisions. When confronted with choices about doctors, specialists, health care plans, and hospitals, a consumer needs to be empowered with the information to make affordable and effective decisions. This chapter will cover the basics of health care, including information about the health care system in America and in other countries; the different kinds of health insurance; Medicare and Medicaid; and how to navigate the world of health insurance under many different conditions, in sickness and in health. The Top 8 reasons why you need Health Insurance: Health insurance helps to ensure that you and your family are protected against the financial hardships that may result from health care expenses. Without health insurance, you may not be able to afford medical care when you need it People with health insurance are more likely to go to the hospital before their condition worsens and becomes more expensive to treat. People with diabetes who do not have health insurance have a higher mortality rate than people who have diabetes and health insurance. If large medical bills are not paid, the hospital can put a lien against your property. You may have to seek are at county run hospitals. County run hospitals are often overcrowded and it may take hours, if not days to be seen. Some colleges, universities, and international programs require proof of health insurance to be enrolled. You may receive a high life insurance premium. Types of health insurance Catastrophic health insurance is one of the least expensive forms of health insurance. Deductibles, the amount the individual pays out of pocket before insurance begins paying, are generally large for these types of policies. These policies are only suitable for individuals with the financial means to handle routine illnesses and hospitalizations. Short-term health insurance is similar to term life insurance in that it can only be purchased for a specific period of time. Short-term health insurance often comes with strict qualifying procedures and may not cover pre-existing medical conditions. A Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) is a health insurance plan where medical treatment is fully covered if provided by a doctor or hospital belonging to the PPO's network of health care providers. Treatment performed outside the network is also covered, but at a reduced rate. Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) greatly restricts who a patient may see for non-emergency medical services. The advantage is a significantly lower premium.