When it comes to health insurance, Millennials are much more likely to be uninsured compared to other generations. In fact, approximately 16 percent of Millennials currently do not have health insurance (compared to just 12 percent of Baby Boomers).
Many Millennials are uninsured because they think that coverage is too expensive. They may also be unaware of the different options available to them.
In reality, there are lots of insurance options that Millennials can consider to get the healthcare they need. Explained below are some of the most important things Millennials need to know when it comes to health insurance.
Common Health Insurance Misconceptions
In many cases, Millennials are misinformed about the importance of health insurance, as well as how much it costs and what options they have. The following are three of the most common misconceptions that Millennials ought to reconsider:
Misconception#1: Health Insurance Is Too Expensive
At first glance, health insurance policies can seem way too expensive for most Millennials’ limited budgets (especially when you consider the fact that more Millennials live at home than ever before). It’s important for them to remember, though, that there are lots of different types of policies available to them.
For example, there are high-deductible policies that come with a lower monthly premium, as well as discounted plans sold through the online healthcare marketplace. Many millennials (up to 90 percent, in fact) qualify for Medicaid as well, which also helps to make insurance more affordable.
In addition to lower-cost policies, there are also different tax subsidies for which Millennials might be eligible. These subsidies, in turn, can lower the cost of healthcare and make it more affordable.
Misconception #2: Health Insurance Isn’t Necessary if You’re Healthy
Some Millennials believe they don’t need to pay for health insurance because they’re in good health already and don’t need to go to the doctor on a regular basis.
It’s easy to fall into this trap, but it’s also important to remember that things can go south very quickly. All it takes is one healthcare emergency (a broken bone, a sudden infection or illness, etc.), though, for Millennials to find themselves wishing they had health insurance.
Instead of banking on good luck, it’s better to be prepared and at least have some kind of coverage. When you’re looking down at a massive medical bill, even the “worst” insurance coverage is better than nothing.
Misconception #3: Health Insurance Is Too Complicated
This isn’t entirely untrue. The world of health insurance isn’t exactly a simple one, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when shopping for a policy that meets a person’s needs and fits within their budget.
The good news, though, is that there are lots of online shopping and comparison tools that make the process easier.
It’s also important to note that, for Millennials, the extra effort required upfront when shopping for health insurance is worth their while. If they put in the time now, they can enjoy the benefits of coverage later, when it matters the most.
How to Find Affordable Health Insurance
The truth is that there are lots of cost-effective health insurance options out there for Millennials. For those who have decided it’s better to be safe than sorry but aren’t sure where to begin, here are some steps they can take to find affordable health insurance that gives them the coverage they need:
Understand the Basics
First, it’s important for Millennials to educate themselves on the basics of healthcare. Seventy-two percent of them are confused about health insurance, but learning the definitions of some key terms can help:
- Deductible: This is the amount a person has to pay out of their own pocket before their insurance policy kicks in — the higher a person’s deductible, the lower their premium tends to be
- Premium: This is the total payment a person makes to maintain their insurance coverage
- Coinsurance: This is a person’s share of the cost of a healthcare service; for example, they might pay 20 percent of the cost while the insurance provider pays 80 percent
- Copay: This is a flat fee that a person pays for a healthcare service; for example, they might pay $25 every time they go to the doctor and the insurance provider pays the rest
Knowing the definitions of these terms can help Millennials choose a policy that meets their needs. They might choose a high-deductible plan, for example, in exchange for a lower monthly premium.
Sign Up at the Right Time
In general, Millennials shopping for insurance can sign up during the open enrollment period. This period begins around the first of November and ends toward the middle of December.
Some Millennials might qualify for special exceptions that allow them to sign up outside of this period. This includes those who are newly married, divorced, or who have moved to a new state.
Know Where to Shop
Some Millennials are under the impression that they have to shop through the online marketplace for health insurance. This isn’t the case, though.
They can also compare policies from different private insurance providers. It’s important for them to keep in mind, though, that certain subsidies are only available to them through the marketplace.
Consider Healthcare Usage
When shopping for a health insurance policy, Millennials ought to think carefully about their healthcare usage.
How often do they visit the doctor? Do they need to work with certain specialists? Do they need help paying for prescription drugs?
Answering these questions will help them ensure they’re buying a policy that meets their needs and won’t leave them high and dry later.
Finally, Millennials shouldn’t underestimate the importance of shopping around. They ought to avoid selecting the first policy that comes with a price they think they can afford. Comparison shopping allows them to consider the pros and cons of various policies and ensure they’re getting adequate coverage at a fair price.
Get Health Insurance Today
Health insurance is important for people of all ages, including Millennials. Even if they’re in good health now, they still need to make sure they’re covered so that they’re less likely to run into financial trouble later in the event that an emergency arises.
If Millennials keep themselves informed of the various healthcare options available to them, as well as the different strategies they can implement to find affordable, comprehensive coverage, they’ll have a much easier time getting insured and reaping the benefits that health insurance offers.
For more information, please give our office a call. We offer a free, no-hassle consultation. Oh and you don’t have to be a Millennial – we help all ages!
The Pauley Agency – 314-282-7013.