Take Lauren for example. She never had to think about healthcare in her life. She could take for granted that her parents would make the decision and hand her a new card to keep with her.
With her 26th birthday upon her, however, she can no longer stay on her parents’ health insurance policy. On top of that, she’s experiencing a lot of changes in her life: finishing a graduate degree with multiple job offers and moving away from home for the first time. Lauren has decided to follow her heart rather than a paycheck and accepted a job with a new charity in Washington DC that doesn’t offer health insurance.
With all this on her mind, Lauren needs to purchase a health insurance plan on her own for the very first time. Where does she start? What questions should she ask herself?
What are my health needs?
Lauren is extremely healthy and with the occasional seasonal allergy, she has barely been sick a day in her life. She has no pre-existing conditions and her family history is generally a very healthy one. Lauren doesn’t require a health plan with “all the bells in whistles.”
What’s my financial status?
Lauren is graduating with student debt, moving to a high-rent area, and working for a new organization where health benefits are not an option. Given her health and financial status, spending a large sum of money on health insurance is not in her list of priorities.
What are my future health plans?
Lauren is single with no plans of starting a family. She’s also prepared to pay for her yearly check-up out of her own pocket.
What should Lauren do?
With Obamacare, she can purchase what’s called “catastrophic health insurance.” This plan is meant for people under the age of 30 who don’t require high levels of medical care. This will cover Lauren for the “what-if” situations we discussed with Kelley and Matt’s story. If anything significant were to happen, Lauren would not be left with a pile of medical bills. So, while Lauren shouldn’t stay on a catastrophic plan for than a year or two, it’s a viable option while she gets her career and new life in Washington underway.
Are you a Lauren? If so, let us know! What are your concerns about healthcare as you start out?
I hope this helps you spin your healthcare your way.