How does a health policy's coinsurance work? Is it affected by copay?

Coinsurance is the percent you pay after meeting your deductible. A policy with 80-20 coinsurance means the insurance company pays 80 percent of the covered health care service (adjusted to the insurer's allowed amount). You owe the remaining 20 percent.

Copay is the fixed amount you pay the provider each time you seek treatment. The amount could be $10, $25, or more. Your copay does not reduce the out-of-pocket deductible.

Contact the insurer to confirm your policy period and status of meeting the deductible and coinsurance requirements. Also, verify your out-of-pocket maximum. This information will help you prepare for future medical expenses.