Co-pay Definition

Most modern health insurance policies require that covered individuals make a small payment at the time medical services are obtained. For example, these out-of-pocket expenses are charged when consulting with a physician, visiting the dentist, or purchasing prescription drugs. Co-payments generally range from $10 to $25 per visit, and help defray the cost of medical care and help keep insurance prices lower. A good financial practice is to be aware of your individual insurance plan’s co-payment structure—most plans charge a lower rate for a doctor visit than for an emergency room visit. For example, if you can visit your family doctor it might only cost you $10, while if you visit a nearby emergency room it might cost you $40. Co-payments usually qualify for reimbursement from medical savings plans.