Health Insurance Basics

Who should buy health insurance?

Literally everyone should buy health insurance because medical expenses are simply too high to cover out of pocket. Medical bills are a leading cause of consumer debt and related financial problems (e.g., bankruptcy and home foreclosure).

If you’re buying health insurance and you fit into one of the following groups, we’ve listed a few additional considerations for when you’re shopping for health insurance.

If you’re buying for a family

You should also be aware that your plan may have a family deductible in addition to individual deductibles for each family member. Individual deductibles are lower than the family deductible. Once an individual hits their individual deductible, their health insurance plan kicks in just for them . But once the family deductible is met, health insurance kicks in for every member of the family , regardless of whether or not an individual has reached their deductible.

If you’re a student

You can stay on a parent’s health insurance plan until you’re 26 years old, so no need to buy health insurance if your parents are willing to let you stay on their plan. You can also check your university for health insurance plans, which may be more affordable. This is an especially good option if you’re going to college out of state, as your parent’s plan’s network may not work in your state.

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