September 23 is the day that an important part of the new health care law- a provision that allows young adults to stay on their parent's insurance until age 2- becomes law. It's the day that many young Americans will gain the security and peace of mind that comes with knowing you can get covered. In fact, over 2 million young adults and families are expected to take advantage of this option in year one, and millions more every year after.
So what, exactly, does “getting covered” mean for young people? Why should someone under the age of 26 even bother with health insurance? We are fairly healthy as an age group. It is true that 15% of young adults have a chronic illness, and we have all heard horror stories about young people facing terrible illnesses or injuries, threatening not only their health but any hope of financial security. But why should a relatively healthy young person care?
Here are 5 reasons that we at Young Invincibles, a national organization committed to mobilizing and expanding opportunities for all young Americans between 18 and 34 years of age, think matter. What do you think?
Reason #1: For Your Health
You’re young, but you’re not invincible. If you are injured or get sick, quality medical care can save and drastically improve your life. Medical care makes a huge difference in how you feel, and in how quickly you get back to the things that matter to you after an accident or illness. Health insurance can also help you avoid health concerns before they become major problems, by providing low-cost preventive care and check-ups with your doctor.
Reason #2: In Case You Get Hit By A Bus
Sure you’re healthy and active right now. But nobody expects a freak accident that sends you to the hospital. You don’t want to be bankrupted by bills from an accident or an unexpected medical problem. If you need a prescription drug, regular check-ups, or ongoing care, those costs can also add up. Take a look at how much a few common health issues would cost without insurance:
Hospitalization for Asthma
Hospitalization for Diabetes
Not sure about you, but a hospital bill over $1,000 would cause quite a few financial issues for most young adults.
Reason #3: Because Now It’s Affordable
Joining your parent’s plan is among the least expensive of all insurance options for families. Extending coverage until age 26 will make insurance affordable for millions of young Americans. Buying a plan in the individual market can also make financial sense. Up to a hundred bucks a month for coverage is a lot less expensive than an unexpected bill for $10,000 right?
Reason #4: For Your Family
Starting a family? Staying healthy matters more than ever. The typical prenatal care and a hospital birth together cost $9,562 without insurance. Of course, having health insurance will also let your parents breathe a sigh of relief to know that you’re taken care of.
Reason #5: Cause It’s The Right Thing To Do
Getting covered is about taking personal responsibility for your health and financial well-being. It’s about being an independent adult and protecting yourself. We all must do our part so society can devote its resources to those truly in need. If you have the option, you should take advantage of it.