A health insurance guide for millennials

millennial health plan Thursday, February 7, 2019

Open enrollment ended, but you can still get coverage if you had a life event (such as marriage, divorce, birth of a child or a job change). Get a quote online.

If you’re like me, getting health insurance is probably at the top of your list of things to put off. But it's time to check another adult-to-do off your never-ending list. You might feel healthy, but a health plan could protect you and your wallet.

There are a few ways to get covered:

·        If you're under age 26, you can stay on your parents' health

·        Enroll on your (or a spouse or domestic partner’s) work or school plan

·        Buy an individual market plan to cover you or your family

The government offers tax credits to help qualified individuals cover their monthly health plan bill, also known as a premium .

Important things to understand

Whatever kind of plan you’re thinking about, consider two factors.

The first is price. It's understandable that the cheapest option may be the most attractive. But that should only be a piece of the puzzle. You'll also want to consider how much healthcare you need because the amount you pay out-of-pocket varies quite a bit depending on the type of plan you have. Check out this video for tips on other factors you may want to think about.

This brings us to network. A health plan's network consists of the doctors, health professionals, hospitals and service facilities it contracts with to provide (generally) lower costs of healthcare for its members. While some plans let you go out-of-network and still have care covered, you'll probably pay more money out-of-pocket. Other plans don’t cover out-of-network care unless it’s an emergency.

You'll often find that the least expensive plans have smaller networks, sometimes limited by geographic area. If that won't work for you (for example if you frequently travel or work outside your region) consider a broader network.

Metallic health plans

Obamacare plans are categorized as Bronze, Silver and Gold. In a nutshell, the Bronze plans will have the cheapest monthly bill (premium), but you’ll pay a larger share of the cost when you get care. On the other end, Gold plans have a higher monthly bill, but will have lower costs for when you use your plan. What does not change is the network you're paying for and the actual services covered.

Should you go for a Health Savings Account (HSA)?

An HSA is available with high-deductible health plans. They encourage individuals to take more control of their healthcare costs. 3 major tax advantages to these HSAs:

1.       Money put in is 100% tax deductible

2.       Money used for qualified medical expenses are not taxed

3.       Interest earnings are tax-deferred and are tax-free when paying for qualified medical expenses.

You can invest your HSA funds. Your money is yours to take with you, even if you change plans.


Robert Ozeroff is a millennial who works in marketing for Premera. His recent #adulting included quitting his sugar breakfast habit.

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