As graduation time nears on college campuses around the country, young adults in the Class of 2012 will be faced with many important life decisions for the first time, including what to do about health insurance coverage once they leave school.
To help make the right choices, these new grads need to begin empowering themselves now with solid information about their health care options. When it comes to health insurance coverage, for example, young adults can begin by evaluating their health needs, determining their budgets and then learning what’s available to them.
Below are some tips from UnitedHealthcare’s Golden Rule Insurance Company (www.goldenrule.com) to help young adults make the best decisions for both their health and their wallets:
- If eligible, consider staying on your parents’ health insurance plan. Dependents can stay on their parents’ coverage until age 26 in most cases, but it also makes sense to compare the cost of doing so vs. buying an individual health insurance plan especially if you’re young and healthy.
- Determine how much you could afford to spend on a personal health insurance plan if you decide to buy your own coverage, including monthly premiums and any out-of-pocket costs for health care services and prescriptions.
- Ask questions. Solicit parents’ and family members’ advice, check out reputable insurance company websites or visit with a local independent insurance broker to learn the basics about health insurance, including industry terms such as “deductible” and co-insurance.”
- Consider short term health insurance plans that can offer coverage for up to 11 months. Short term plans are generally affordable, the application process is quick and simple, and they can provide coverage until you become eligible for a more permanent or employer-provided plan.
- Look into high deductible health plans. For many young, healthy people, high deductible plans make sense because they provide quality and affordable coverage at lower rates.
- If you do buy your own coverage, make sure that you can drop it at any time without penalty, especially if you expect to be covered by an employer in the near future.
- Most importantly, don’t risk going uninsured. As you begin your career, it’s a time in which you’re least likely to be able to be saddled with costly medical bills because of an unexpected illness or injury which can happen to anyone at anytime.
A leading provider of health insurance for individuals and families for 65 years, Golden Rule Insurance Company has been a UnitedHealthcare company since 2003. Golden Rule’s personal health and dental plans are offered in 41 states and the District of Columbia, and are marketed under the UnitedHealthOne brand. For more information, consumers can call 1-800-444-8990, visit www.goldenrule.com or contact a local independent insurance broker who offers UnitedHealthOne health and dental plans.
For more information about UnitedHealthcare’s products, services and consumer initiatives, visit www.uhc.com or follow @myUHC on Twitter.