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There is an annual period during which you can sign up for health insurance, known as open enrollment. If you miss the open enrollment period there may be an option to enroll during a special period if you meet certain criteria. You’re eligible to enroll in a special period if you have a life event such as having a child, getting married, or losing other coverage. You can enroll through the health insurance marketplace or look at your employer’s health insurance offerings. Check out our guide to health insurance enrollment.
The amount of money that you pay before your insurance plan starts to pay. For example, if your deductible is $3000 then you will be responsible to pay the first $3000 of covered services. Once the deductible has been met, you may only need to pay the copayment or coinsurance, if it applies.
The copayment and coinsurance are the same in the sense that they both go into effect once the deductible has been met. The key difference is that a copayment is a specified flat fee whereas coinsurance is a percentage of a health service.
A cost effective solution for a generally healthy, young person would be to look for a high deductible plan. Yes, you may have a higher amount to reach, however with a high deductible plan the premiums tend to be much lower. If you are a healthy person that doesn’t utilize a lot of health services, the money you save on health insurance premiums help pay for any out of pocket medical expenses that do occur. Not to mention most high deductible plans give you the option to open an HSA account to pay for covered medical expenses.
A child can remain on their parent’s health insurance plan until they turn 26 years old. You can join or remain on a parent’s plan even if you are married, attending school, not living with or financially dependent on your parents, or are eligible to enroll in your employer’s insurance plan.