Millions of Americans are without health insurance. That is a fact of life, and yet few people have succeeded in doing anything about it. That being said, there is no good reason why this has to be the case, and however it is something that everyone seems to accept without question. While free health coverage is a question for another time, the reality is that everyone should invest in some form of health coverage.
Being in your early 20s means that you are probably relatively healthy and need to see a doctor quite rarely. It can also mean being in college and so having little income to spare for such things, particularly if your institution of study does not offer some type of coverage. Some people have the idea that in this case, it is more cost-effective to pay for visits out of pocket instead of bothering with the monthly payments and required co-payments. This is all in all a terrible idea.
Sure, perhaps you don’t yet have a chronic illness that needs to be managed with expensive medicine and regular doctor’s visits. That being said, it can happen that what may seem like a small bump may turn into something far more sinister. The treatments for a more severe ailment can bankrupt just about anyone with an average income. Though paying around a hundred dollars a month for insurance, provided that you are healthy, this should be seen as an investment in your health rather than as a financial inconvenience.
Even the lousiest insurance plans will support you in times of medical need. Though you may never have gotten sick in your life, it is more than possible to miss a step at home or to get hit by a car while on your bicycle. These are outside factors that simply cannot be controlled for and need to be considered strongly before opting out of medical insurance. Most insurance companies have an option wherein you can have a low monthly payment and a high co-pay, something that seems unfair when you need to actually visit the doctor but will save you money in the long run. On the other hand, if you do get sick often, it is not a bad idea to select a plan with low co-pays so that you don’t ruin your budget each time you go in for a doctor’s visit.
Now that it’s been established that health insurance is simply a required expense, let’s dive deeper into the details. Because medical costs are literally the leading cause of consumer debt, having a plan that suits your needs is essential. Buying insurance for a family is slightly more complex in as much as a plan might require paying a group deductible alongside an individual one for each member of the family. Once the family deductible is met, it will kick in for every member of the family regardless of whether the individual one has been established.
Being a young person is generally complex when it comes to health. This is all the more complex when you turn twenty-six because that is when your parents’ plan will cease to cover you. It seems like the easy option to forgo insurance until your job gives it to you, but that may come further down the line than you would think. Even then, it may not be the best quality insurance and will not help you significantly in times of real medical crisis.