A copay is the money paid by the policy holder at the time that the services are received. The amount paid for a copay varies based on what services are being required.
Insurance policies often have a copay for prescriptions, doctor visits, and emergency room visits. Many insurance policies are a combination of copay and coinsurance. Coinsurance means that the policy holder shares the costs of the health care services. The policy holder typically pays for a percentage of what is charged for the services that were received, while the insurance pays the rest of the bill. Before the insurance provider begins to pay the coinsurance, the policy holder must have first reached his policy's deductible, which is the set amount that a policy holder must pay out of pocket before the insurance begins to pay for services.