Health Insurance for Young People

Health insurance is not a high priority for people between the ages of 18 and 24, which is probably why they have a higher uninsured rate in the U.S. population than any other age bracket. However, young does not mean invincible, and medical costs for one ski accident can wipe out a college fund in one fell swoop.

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Most children covered under the health insurance of their parents are typically dropped at the age of 18 (although recently, 16 states required insurers to continue covering dependent children up to the age of 25 or 26), in New Jersey until the age of 30. Some states require the dependent child to be a full-time student, while some require merely stipulate that they are unmarried.

For most people, this is the most cost-effective way to have coverage until such time that employment and benefits come along, especially if there is a pre-existing medical condition. For others still, the plethora of affordable individual insurance packages (as little as $75 a month) specifically designed for young adults may seem more practical as it translates to lower premiums for the parents.

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However, such packages often have annual limits that help control costs to lower premiums, but can be a significant problem when a serious illness or accident occurs. Such limits can mean huge financial problems for the insured who did not anticipate that the $25,000 or even $50,000 ceiling on the medical expenses could be so easily outrun.

Unexpected Emergencies with Young People

The very basis for health insurance is to guard against unexpected medical events, so limitations and caps can pose a serious problem. Statistically, young people in the 18-24 age bracket do not exceed medical costs of $50,000 annually, but in reality, anything can happen to anyone. It would make better sense to pony up more for a policy with more flexible coverage, and in some cities it is not as bad as the doomsayers make it out to be.

The best cities to get individual insurance plans ranging for as little as $54 a month are (in California) Long Beach, Sacramento, Fresno, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland. Other cities are Columbus, Ohio, Mesa, Arizona and Tucson, Arizona. However, make sure to read the fine print for what is covered and what is not.