You’ve Graduated...Now What?

October 5, 2021

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Photo Courtesy:  Pixabay

In the past few months, the class of 2021 faced a ton of new challenges. Navigate them with me! 

Many of us no longer needed to live in Durham, so we needed to find housing or move back in with our family, we were on the hunt for full-time jobs, and we were attempting at finding a new health insurance plan. Whether or not we had a full time job offer after graduation, health insurance is a necessity. Now, I am no healthcare consumerism professional, but I did have the chance to explore different health care plans, with the help of Google and my mother.  

First, I went to the government’s health care website  and created an account. After I created an account, I was able to fill in my own information and verify my email. In order to get a proper health insurance plan according to my finances, I needed to state where I worked, how much I was paid hourly, and verify how much my yearly salary would be. Next, Healthcare.gov gave me about 4 pages of plans to pick from. I chose the best one that fit my budget after learning all of the meanings below. 

Since there is an absurd amount of plans for just a twenty-two year old, recent college graduate to pick, let’s go over the basic definitions first: 

  • Deductibles: This is how much you pay before your insurance pays. A deductible is technically an out-of-pocket expense because if your deductible is $100, you pay $100 (out of your pocket) and then the insurance pays the rest. 

  • Out-of-Pocket: This is how much you would pay that is not reimbursed by your insurance. These expenses include deductibles, copays, coinsurance, and anything else that your insurance does not cover. 

  • Monthly premium: This one is probably the easiest to understand! It is how much you pay monthly for your health insurance. A lower premium usually means you will be paying a Copay, and a higher premium usually means you might not have to pay a Copay. 

  • Co-Insurance: This is what you pay after you pay the deductible. If your coinsurance is 20%, then you pay 20% of the medical bill in addition to the deductible. 

  • Copay: You pay this every time you visit a doctor, and the amount you pay is stated on your insurance card, it is always a flat fee and there are no surprises when it comes to copays! A copay is an out-of-pocket expense.  

  • Eligibility: Before my insurance coverage was able to start, I needed to upload my pay stub to prove that my income was what I stated initially in my application. 

In my opinion, doing this for the first time was quite difficult. I suggest that you take your time choosing the right plan that you can afford and that fits what kind of health care you require. After taking time and running through my own expenses and budget, I picked the plan that covered my Primary Care Provider and that covered my normal hospital that I have gone to since I was little. It is important that you search and make sure that the health care plan you pick covers your PCP (Primary Care Provider) and the certain medications you take. This is an extremely long and strenuous process, but by educating yourself with these terms, you can make the process a little less painful.  

Now that you’ve learned some of the basic terms and meanings to do with health insurance coverage, what are you waiting for? Go to HealthCare.gov’s website and see if you’re eligible if your coverage is ending soon! 

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