Health care not a fret for college-age kids for now
Unfortunately, many young adults between the age of 18 and 26 can’t say the same.
I’m part of a demographic that, according to a 2011 Gallup Poll, is the second most likely age group in America to be uninsured. Luckily though, many others and myself have been given the privilege of remaining on our parent’s health insurance policies until we reach 26 years of age.
This may not seems like that big of a deal to some, but for myself and other young adults trying to begin our lives, it’s the difference between sinking and swimming.
If there’s one thing that’s for certain, it’s that health care is expensive. Even what begins as a minor trip to the hospital can result in a bill that’s nearly impossible to pay. As a student at Central Michigan University, I’m aware that having to cover an unexpected medical bill, or even another monthly payment, would throw a major wrench into my finances.
It could even result in having to give up school entirely.
College is far from free after all, and missing a tuition or housing payment isn’t excusable.
It’s not just students that benefit from this policy however. Though it used to require an individual to be a full-time student (taking at least 12 credit hours) to remain on your parent’s policy, now anyone within the allotted age group can remain on his or her parent’s plan.
Is that a bad thing? Should a young adult have to attend school full time to be able to have this privilege?
I don’t think so.
Going to college isn’t always an option for some people. In fact, spending that kind of money can even be the wrong choice at times. That shouldn’t discredit the amount of effort these individuals put in though, as many of these individuals have put in just as much work at their respective jobs as I have hitting the books.
I even have a fair amount of friends that, with school not being for them, decided to enter the work force right away. Though their bills aren’t as hefty as a year’s worth of tuition, I’ve still seen them struggle with budgeting at times. Having to afford their own insurance or having to cover a medical expense without insurance could greatly impact whether or not they can make rent, afford their car payment or even put food in the refrigerator.
With the cost of living constantly on the rise, it’s nice to have a slight edge when trying to plant our feet solidly on the ground. Being included on my parent’s policy will give me enough time to develop a financial foundation, and when the time finally comes, move on to my own policy, better equipped to handle the cost.
The most important thing about being able to stay on my parent’s insurance however, is that I can go about my everyday life knowing that if I happen to get sick, I can get it taken care of. I don’t have to stand by and watch a condition worsen and worsen, unable to ask for help because my wallet or bank account simply isn’t large enough.
My parents agree — they both sleep better knowing that my younger sister, a sophomore at CMU, and I are taken care of and aren’t putting our long-term health at risk over a bill.
I don’t have to worry about the sniffling student next to me in my lecture hall, or refuse to shake my professor’s hands in fear of falling ill and being unable to continue with my normal class schedules. Through this excellent opportunity I’m able to sleep soundly and prepare myself for the moment I leave the nest for good and finally take on all of the costs involved with being an adult.
Do you agree that this is a good policy to have? Is it a good thing to allow young adults a couple extra years to remain on their parents insurance, saving them a cost that many would agree just isn’t affordable or should we be required to find our own policy upon turning 18-years-old? Send me an email at email@example.com to tell me what you think.