Now that you’ve graduated from college, you are focused on fulfilling all of your career goals and opportunities. You’ve been trained for your new vocation, but maybe no one has told you about all the things you’d need post-graduation…like health insurance.
Most likely, you’ve never had to understand health insurance before since you were covered under one of your parents’ plans. Like thousands of other new grads, you may have lost your coverage unexpectedly. Your coverage may have been terminated upon graduation since you are no longer considered a “dependent.” If you were unaware that this could happen, you need to find out if it truly has before you find yourself without coverage right when you need it most.
1. Determine if you are still covered.
Call the number on the back of your insurance card to find out if you are still insured. Have your policy number ready when you all. Make sure to ask what your current status is and the future terms of eligibility. This is important since there are policies that continue coverage until a particular age or if additional education is pursued. If you are told that you are no longer covered or your coverage will end soon, then you need to purchase an individual health insurance policy.
2. Understand why you need health insurance.
With all of the other expenses you have, you may be tempted to forego health insurance. You may be asking yourself if you really need it since you’re young and pretty healthy. In today’s world, you do really need your own health insurance coverage because:
– If the unexpected happens, you couldn’t pay for all of your medical expenses.
– You can have peace of mind, knowing you will receive the care you need.
– The burden won’t be placed on others to care for you.
– You can go to the doctors and hospitals you choose.
– You could receive reimbursements on gym membership, massage, and sports equipment on some policies, which would help cover the cost of the policy itself.
– You can receive covered “Valued Added Benefits” such as discount dental, eye care, massage, chiropractic, and other expenses you are paying for on your own right now.
3. Evaluate your current situation.
Since you know you need coverage, it may seem impossible to know where to start. There are numerous health insurance plans available to you and there are some things you should keep in mind as you begin the process of buying your own health insurance policy. These include:
– out-of-pocket expenses
– monthly cost
– prescription drug coverage
– doctor networks
You should also examine your job outlook. If you are just beginning to look for employment or don’t have any firm prospects, it could be months until you obtain coverage from your new employer. You can’t afford to go that long without health insurance coverage. When you do find a job, you won’t have insurance through your employer until their coverage comes into effect. Nowadays, the effective date is often six months to a year after your first day of employment, leaving you without coverage and in need of your own health insurance policy.
4. Wisely choose the right plan and provider.
Finding the right insurance plan online can be difficult. There are so many health insurance websites that you might not pick the best one for you. Many online companies and sites don’t know or care about your personal needs or situation. Unfortunately, they just want another sale and are happy if they can do it without even talking to you. Buying health insurance is a big decision and you need to talk to an expert who can help you make the best choice for your needs, budget and situation.
If you choose to look at coverage from several companies, here are a few things to consider or outright ask:
– Is the company licensed to sell insurance in your state?
– Does the company represent multiple “A” rated insurance carriers or do they only sells plans for one insurance carrier?
– Is the company selling you a plan based on how it meets your needs? (i.e. Is anyone listening to your needs and then recommending a specific plan that meets those needs?)
– Is the company resourceful and responsive by returning your calls quickly and answering all your questions?
– Will the company service your account throughout the lifetime of the policy?
If a company is telling you that they can give you an exclusive rate, don’t believe them. Health insurance premiums are filed with the State Department of Insurance. Regardless of whether you buy online, from an agent or right from a health insurance company, you’ll pay the same amount for the same plan.
Since there are so many plan types and options available to you and because plans vary by state, it would be impossible to outline them in this article. To make sure you get the right health insurance plan for your needs and budget, find a trustworthy health insurance advisor, like through http://www.benepath.com, who will put your best interest first and assist you through the decision-making process.
Source by Clelland Green