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:
Money put in is 100% tax deductible
Money used for qualified medical expenses are not taxed
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.
Ozeroff is a millennial who works in marketing for Premera. His recent #adulting included quitting his sugar breakfast habit.