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Hassle-Free Health Coverage: Co-Payments

Many HMOs and other managed care plans require members to make a co-payment when they get treatment. A co-payment is specific dollar amount, or percentage of the cost of a service that you must pay in order to receive a basic health care service.

Co-payments are rarely more than $10 -- but they are due every time you visit a health care provider.

Example: you may be required to pay a $5 copayment for an office visit to your physician, or you might be required to pay a 30 percent copayment (30 percent of the cost of the services) for alcohol and drug rehabilitation.

Some HMOs don't require any co-payment for a considerable number of their services. Co-payments for alcohol and drug rehabilitation, and services for mental and emotional disorders are usually expressed as a percentage of the cost of the service and are therefore more costly to the member. Co-payments for supplemental services are often considerably more than for basic services.

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