Several people have asked me for some tips on how to find health insurance. I didn’t mean to scare anyone, but if my intense pain reminds someone to get insurance, at least something good came out of it! I did do some searching myself last year – the good news is that if you are young and in good health, you can get some high-deductible insurance for around $100 a month. The deductibles may still reach in the thousands, but $5,000 would be the least of your worries if you had just one serious incident. A reader got billed $3,075 for each CT scan taken!
If your parents have family health insurance, you can usually remain covered under their plan until age 23 as long as you are a full-time student. For some states the age limit is even higher now. I know I did this as long as I could.
Otherwise, many universities will offer their own insurance package at a reduced cost. I knew someone over 40 who took a few units of community college every semester solely to qualify for the school’s cheap health coverage because it was cheap and took everyone regardless of pre-existing medical conditions. In my experience the quality of the plans varies wildly though, so I’d call around and compare first before signing up for rocks for jocks. I wonder if any online colleges are part of an affordable group plan?
Plans For Young Adults
A popular comparison site for health insurance is eHealthInsurance. I like it because they list a lot of the major insurers like Blue Cross Blue Shield, and you don’t have to give them your name or other personal information before seeing the plan’s specifics like monthly premium, deductible, and coinsurance percentage. They do require birth date and zip code. The quotes are usually for those in good health, so if you have pre-existing health problems the actual cost will be higher. Here are some sample results for a 28 year old male non-smoker in Oregon:
Middle of the road: Lower deductible, higher monthly premium:
Another option to check out for those in CA, CO, GA, CT, NH, and NV is Tonik Health. It’s specifically for young hip folks (could they make the website any more tacky?), and they have plans starting from about $75 a month.
In certain states like Massachusetts, there may be special programs available directly from the state targeting young adults.
Otherwise, one might try a local independent insurance broker. (Yellow Pages?) I’ve never used one, but if you have specific needs or requests they might be able to better tailor a custom package. I did ask my State Farm insurance agent for a quote back when I was looking around, and it was pretty competitive.