Six tips for getting health insurance for the first time

Six tips for getting health insurance for the first time

26 years old? Here are some things to consider before purchasing a health insurance policy.

You will be 26 soon. However, review your health insurance plan before digging into your birthday cake. If enrolled in your parent's plan, you must sign up for your health insurance as quickly as possible and will turn 26 this year. Waiting too long could be expensive, so use these useful tips to jumpstart your search.

Six tips for getting health insurance for the first time

1. Know when your coverage will end.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, you can remain on your parent's health insurance plan until the age of 26. You will then have to enrol on your own.

A health insurance plan is usually only open to new enrollees during specific periods of the year. There are exceptions to these dates during special enrollment periods. A special enrollment period begins when you lose coverage under your parent's plan, regarded as a qualifying event. Following a qualifying event, most special enrollment periods last for 60 days.

If your parent receives health insurance via their job, Your parent's insurance company may determine when you'll need to get your plan. The last day of the month you turn 26 is when your coverage under their plan expires, but it might end as soon as your birthday.

You might be able to continue on your parent's plan if you are disabled. To be sure, confirm with the health insurance provider.

2. Learn how health insurance works.

Understanding how health insurance operates is crucial before determining which health plan you need. Review important terms such as copay, coinsurance, deductible, and premium. After enrolment, knowing what is and isn't covered can help you save time and money.

3. Consider your health needs

Think about how much you'll need to use your insurance.

Should you only require annual wellness visits or not require frequent doctor visits, a high deductible, low premium plan may be your best option. Your monthly premium is typically lower, but before the insurance company begins to pay its share (your deductible), you bear the full cost of your medical care.

If you anticipate frequently needing to use your insurance benefits, it is best to have a high-premium, low-deductible plan. Although your monthly payment will increase, you'll meet your deductible faster, allowing your insurance company to contribute faster.

Your physician may switch. Before registering for benefits, most health plans let you look through their provider directory to determine which physicians are included in their network.

4. Review your health insurance options.

Find the best plan for you by researching before your coverage expires. You have these three primary choices:

Insurance via your place of employment. When your coverage expires, you should be able to enrol in a plan if your employer provides health insurance. For further information, speak with your employer's human resources department.

Insurance via the Marketplace for Health Insurance. Covered California is a good place to start if you're unemployed or your employer doesn't offer health insurance. The state's marketplace, Covered California, is a free tool that assists with signing up for health, dental, and vision insurance. Financial assistance is available through Covered California, and depending on your eligibility, Sharp Health Plan options can be had for as little as $0 a month. Use the Shop and Compare tool to determine whether you are eligible for financial assistance.

Coverage via Medi-Cal. Medi-Cal provides low-income individuals with free or inexpensive health insurance. All year long, applications are accepted.

5. Shop for a plan based on quality.

Health plans are not made equally. Before choosing a plan, consider its ratings, as this can give you an idea of the calibre of care you will get. The only plan to attain a 5-star members' care experience rating was Sharp Health Plan, which Covered California awarded 5 out of 5 stars for 2022.

6. Don't wait to get covered.

In California, it is mandatory to obtain health insurance. When filing your state income tax return, you may be subject to severe fines if you choose not to enrol in a health plan. To avoid penalties, try to begin your application as soon as possible.

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