As of this writing, there are 2 main types of health insurance available to young adults (age twenty-six and up). These are individual policy coverage and employee group policy coverage.
With individual policies, you can typically choose from two primary types of coverage: premium-based coverage or comprehensive coverage. The former will require you to have enough money in your account to pay monthly premiums, whereas the latter will cover some amount of care free of charge.
Comprehensive coverage is usually limited to a certain number of physicians and hospitals that it covers, as well as a set annual limit on medical services. This type of coverage also often has a cap on how much it costs per year.
If you want more extensive coverage than what is included in your current policy or if you need to go beyond the yearly budget, you will have to purchase an additional plan. Budgeting ahead via paid time off may help you balance other responsibilities while you are waiting out a sick day.
As with any kind of insurance, individual policies offer better coverage than no coverage at all, but they cost more upfront. Luckily, many companies offer affordable individual plans through their employees’ wellness programs.
What is a health savings account?
A health savings account (HSA) is an easy way to add additional coverage that can be used for both medical bills and insurance premiums.
HSAs work like other personal accounts such as credit cards. You have access to all of the money in your HSA, just like with a regular bank account.
There are some key differences, though. First, you cannot spend what you do not have in your HSAlost. This makes sense because this is healthcare! Second, you get extra incentives to save money because you earn higher income tax breaks if you use your HSA to pay for services.
Third, most major providers accept direct payment discounts through HSASo even more incentive to invest in your overall wellness.
Fortunately, there are many good online resources to help you start or improve your HSA.
Is it better to get a policy that covers everything or a policy that covers some things?
As I mentioned before, health insurance is mostly about how much you are paying per month. So, if you have very expensive medical bills, your insurer will still help you out!
But what kind of coverage you have really matters too. It should at least cover your major medical expenses. This includes doctor visits, hospital stays, and medications.
Unfortunately, most young adult-only policies do not offer this needed protection. They may also go by another name — wellness benefits or additional coverage.
These are usually services like nutrition counseling or fitness classes. Some even include limited weight loss assistance or group exercise sessions.
It’s hard to compare one type of plan to the other because they vary so much from company to company and category to category.
How to pick a policy
As we mentioned before, health insurance comes in two main forms: individual or group coverage. You can choose one or both of these types of policies depending on your needs and how many people will be covered under this plan.
In general, individuals are usually cheaper than groups because they do not have to pay extra money to cover members who may not know or use the benefits of the policy. This also means that they cannot get as expensive a policy as a more comprehensive group coverage.
Individuals typically have similar level coverage (such as doctor visits) but higher costs per person compared to group plans. Group health insurance is usually more affordable if you have a large family or a team of workers.
You should compare like with like when looking at group coverage. For example, if someone is less experienced in using their doctors then an extended healthcare coverage plan could be better for them.
Do I need a policy if I am healthy?
Even though health insurance is not required by law for young adults over 26, it can still be an efficient way to protect yourself from major medical issues or disasters.
If you are in good health, you do not have to buy coverage at this time. You can wait until you develop health conditions that require care.
You should also check out all of your options as an individual buyer. Some health insurers offer more comprehensive coverage than others. An easy way to find out which ones they are is by looking at their rates compared to each other.
A healthier alternative is to stay uninsured. This will put some pressure on you to make sure you are properly protected later if you become ill.
What are the different types of policies?
There are two main types of health insurance coverage in young adult age groups– individual policy and group policy.
Under an individual policy, you as a person (or individual) are insured against medical bills. This means that your personal health insurance provider pays for all of your care.
Group policies typically cover more people than an individual policy does, making it easier to find coverage since there is already someone else paying for part of your care.
Young adults under 26 years old can usually stay on their parents’ plan until they turn 26, when they must choose his or her own health insurance.
That way, your parent still has access to good quality, affordable healthcare.
How can I get affordable health insurance?
As we mentioned, young adults typically do not qualify as individual policyholders under your parent’s plan. This is because they are usually no longer covered under their parents’ plans at age twenty-six.
You may be able to find cheap family coverage through the Marketplace, but it will likely have high premiums due to being overpriced.
Alternatively, you could look into purchasing separate health insurance policies for yourself.
However, this would require you to pay out of pocket for most medical services, which isn’t the best way to prepare for the future.
By having basic primary care coverage, you will save money in the long run by seeking less expensive healthcare providers and self-diagnosing your conditions.
Can I get health insurance through my partner?
Even if your significant other is covered under his or her employer’s health plan, it may be very expensive to join theirs. Many employers offer their employees family coverage as a way of keeping close tabs on them, but most depend on you being enrolled in similar coverage to stay financially afloat.
If you are both young adults (age 25 or younger) who have not yet found jobs that offer good health benefits, this can make it difficult to afford insurance together.
Many people believe that young, healthy individuals like yourself do not need health insurance, so most insurers will try to find individual policy quotes before offering cover to couples. This can result in high monthly premiums for separate policies for each person.
Can I get health insurance through my employer?
As we mentioned, most young adults likely already have some sort of health coverage through their job at least partially paid for by their parents or guardian. If you’re in this situation, you’re very lucky- no need to worry about if there is adequate health care coverage!
But what if your budget has expanded and/or changed since high school and you now have more money than before? Or what if your employee benefits are not as good as they were years ago?
It can be tricky to decide whether or not to continue working for free (at least cost-free) medical coverage.