Health Insurance for Young Adults: Fresh Start Series

By: Horizon Bank Last Updated: August 11, 2011

FS-health-insuranceMore than 20 percent of Americans without health insurance are between the ages of 18-29, and young adults are the most likely group to not have access to employer-based coverage. Many choose not to purchase individual plans because they believe they are healthy, think it costs too much or don’t think that they need it. But what happens if you get into an accident and become seriously hurt?

Health insurance for young adults is essential. One in six young adults has a chronic medical condition, and more than half of uninsured young adults say that they’ve had problems paying medical bills. If you have a job, you may have insurance through your employer, but if you don’t it is vital to make sure you have the kind of coverage you need.

What health insurance options are available for you?

Parent’s Plan – Did you know that if you are under 26 and without insurance you no longer have to be a full-time student or dependent to qualify under your parent’s group plan? Ask you parents to contact their H.R. representative for more information.

Individual Insurance Plan – Individual insurance plans are difficult to obtain for those with known health issues, but if you are healthy this may be a great option. Research the most reputable health insurance companies in your area to find a provider you can trust.

CHIP – If you graduated early or went straight into the workforce and are under the age of 19, you may qualify for CHIP, the Children’s Health Insurance Program. CHIP offers affordable health care for lower income families and covers benefits such as immunizations, routine check-ups, and even dental care.

COBRA – If you had insurance through your employer but have recently become unemployed, you may be eligible to stay on the group health insurance. Be aware that COBRA policies usually require you to pay additional fees and the entire premium.

Once you have found the health insurance option that fits your needs, evaluate your potential insurance company. Here are five questions to ask before choosing a health insurance provider:

  1. Which health care providers are included on your plan?
  2. Are prescriptions covered under the plan?
  3. How long does the specific policy last?
  4. What is the health insurance company’s reputation? Do they have a history of not delivering benefits to their customers?
  5. What expenses am I responsible for in terms of my monthly premium, co-pays, and hospital visits?

Finding an affordable health insurance policy with a trustworthy company can be a complicated task. Review your options carefully to make sure that you are choosing the best insurance option, and don’t forget to ask key questions about the costs, length of the policy, and available benefits. By being an informed consumer you can find a low cost health insurance option with superior coverage.