Understanding Health Insurance
If you have a full-time job, you likely already have insurance options through your employer. Talk to your HR department and learn as much as possible about what the employee health plan covers. Depending on the offerings, there may be multiple tiers offered as different price points.
Health insurance options across insurers are broken down by metal tier. The metal name is simply a way to describe the percentage range that the insurance company will pay. The 4 metals from lowest tier to highest tier are:
(NOTE: There is also a catastrophic plan tier. These plans are only available to people under 30 years old OR people who qualify for a hardship exemption)
Typically, the higher the metal tier, the greater percentage of costs the insurance company will pay on a bill. However, the higher metal tiers are also more expensive for you in monthly premiums.
The bolded portion above is crucial to consider when selecting a plan to make sure that you are not wasting money (paying for too high plan and not using the care) or leaving yourself vulnerable to large medical bills (paying for too low a plan).
One additional factor: If you are under 26 years old, you are able to remain on your parent’s health insurance plan as part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare). This can be a great option if you are a student or are involved with part-time work and do not receive health benefits.