Finding and Buying Health Insurance

When we first moved to North Carolina a couple years ago, we decided we needed to get short term insurance to cover us until I qualified for insurance with the job I took.

Health Insurance can Protect your Finances

Getting the health insurance for yourself, whether you’re a college student or new graduate is important. Medical bills can have a huge effect on your finances and chances of filing bankruptcy. The good news is that you can find ways to get some kind of coverage, depending on your situation.

If possible, see if you can stay on your parents’ health insurance plan while you’re in school. Not only will you probably find a cheaper premium, you may also get better coverage under their plan.

Sometimes, though, you have to get your own health insurance plan. It’s not as daunting as you may think, it just takes some time to shop around.

Criteria for Choosing the Right Health Insurance Plan

There are three factors you should consider before purchasing a health insurance plan – premiums, deductibles, and copays/coinsurance.

  • How much can I pay for my premiums? If you’re a college student or a new graduate on a strict budget, have this number first. You really need to figure out what you can and can’t afford before you start comparing. Depending on your current health conditions and health insurance company, your premiums can vary greatly.
  • What is my deductible? Before your insurance steps in with coverage, you’re expected to pay a deductible each year.  The lower deductible is on the plan, the higher your monthly premiums are going to be. If you can manage to have some savings set aside, perhaps savings some of your financial aid money, you can significantly lower your premiums by going with a higher deductible.
  • What is my coinsurance or copay? Coinsurance or copay is your part of the bill. Copays are fixed fees that you pay when you visit the doctor’s office or emergency room. Coinsurance is usually a percentage, for example, your insurance company will pay 80% of the bills and you’re expected to pay 20%.
  • You’ll probably notice how many numbers are floating around when looking at plans. I found it easier to compare insurance plans side by side on a spreadsheet to see what the yearly costs were.

    Your Thoughts on Getting Health Insurance

    Do you have health insurance currently? What tips do you have on finding a good deal?

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