Is There a Right Time to Purchase Health Insurance?
Injuries, illnesses, and other medical emergencies can be unpredictable. Having good health insurance can help you get the preventive care and diagnostics you need to stay healthy and reduce the financial burden in case medical emergencies suddenly occur. The sooner you have health coverage, the better you can protect your own and your family’s health.
Why Do You Need Health Insurance?
The days when individuals and families could pay out of pocket for medical treatment as needed are long gone. Health insurance is essential to preserve your health and your finances. The average cost of a hospital ER visit in 2020 was $1,150, according to Consumer Health Ratings. Preventive care is key to protecting your health and well-being. Studies have shown that people with health insurance live longer and have better health outcomes.
When Is the Best Time to Purchase Health Insurance?
With the rising costs of medical care, it is important to have health insurance. Several points in life may be good times to enroll in a health plan, including the following:
- When you first begin earning income is the best time to buy health insurance. Typically, the younger you are, the lower the premiums will be. This is because younger people have a lower risk of health issues. Insurance companies are more liberal when underwriting for younger people and less liberal for older people.
- When you are no longer eligible for coverage under your parent’s health insurance, you will need to purchase a health plan of your own. You may qualify for a special enrollment period if your coverage through your parents was terminated within the previous 60 days.
- If you are starting a new job, the company that hired you may be offering group health insurance as part of its group benefits package. Employers typically pay a portion of the premiums.
- If you start your own business or begin freelancing, you will need health insurance. This can be important to protect your financial resources in case significant medical expenses arise and to help you get the care you need to stay healthy.
When Are You Eligible to Enroll in a Health Plan?
Every year, individuals and families in the U.S. have a period of time to make changes to their health insurance or to enroll in a new health plan. This period, known as Open Enrollment, runs from November 1 through January 15. In addition to Open Enrollment, certain life events may qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period that lasts for 60 days after the qualifying event. Examples of life events that qualify for Special Enrollment include marriage, the birth or adoption of a child, divorce, legal separation, or a death in the family if these events cause you to lose your current health plan.
With so many available options, choosing a health insurance plan can be challenging. If you would like some assistance, meet with our experienced agent. We can help you find a health plan that meets your needs for medical coverage with the lowest available premiums.