There are many descriptions and variations for a “health insurance policy” since it can mean anything from temporary insurance, group or individual coverage, long or short-term policies or even student health insurance. It’s meaning can be as varied as your needs are for it.

The architecture behind each of the policy options is very distinct, whether it’s in price (as a temporary policy costs much less than a more permanent one due to the length of time they are in effect), or locale (as a temporary policy is often bought to cover the policy-holder in foreign places that aren’t recognized by the normal policy).

Most of us are used to long-term health insurance; it’s what we typically get through our employer’s group plan and why we must pay a portion of the cost through paycheck deductions. The term on these policies are normally for a year at a time, unlike temporary coverage that may only be a few weeks in length.

A business, or group, policy varies from individual coverage in that it’s the coverage we’re offered through our work, such as an HMO or PPO. The insurance companies offer the coverage to the employer who in turn offers it to its employees. Companies benefit in the fact that it’s tax-deductible which in turn, again, benefits the employees who don’t have to pay the taxes on the coverage either.

Lastly, student coverage is designed exclusively for those enrolled in college. The university makes the decision on whose insurance to offer, but the student must either enroll in the plan or provide proof of their own coverage before starting classes.

With so many variations of coverage available, you’re decision should be made only after you’ve researched your options, whether online or through various insurance agents. There’s just no reason to be paying for high-cost policies when so many options exist these days.