How To Protect Your Health Post-Election
Look, there’s no need to sugarcoat it: this election was scary as hell. No matter what side of the political spectrum you fell on, the uncharted territory we all witnessed being crossed in the campaign run-up, all the way to November 8th, felt more like watching a particularly on-the-nose episode of Black Mirror than following along with a Presidential election. The general feeling of “What is going to happen over the next few months, let alone four effing years from now?” has settled over all of us like a fine, dark mist. The truth is that none of us really know — we’ve never seen anything like this before — and the best we can do at a time like this is make sure we’ve protected ourselves, that we’ve dotted all our i’s and crossed our t’s. We can’t control much, but we can control what we do for ourselves.
And as women, at the risk of sounding like a promotional tote bag from a health clinic, the biggest thing we need to protect is our bodies. Our health isn’t a joke, and no matter our politics, we are more vulnerable to the whims of our latest elected official. Entire constitutional rights, and thousands of dollars’ worth of subsidized programs and products can be erased with the flick of a pen. This means that we cannot afford to be among the (lol) 64% of millennials who can’t define key health insurance terms (like co-pays, deductibles, coinsurance, or premiums). We need to intimately know the best health care plans for us, and make sure we aren’t paying too much for something that isn’t helping us. Yes, it’s hugely important for our physical health, but our insurance also enormously defines our financial well-being. We can’t afford to be stupid about insurance, in any sense of the term.
That means we need people and programs that help us understand what we’re actually getting. Yes, our employers might be helping us get our insurance — but what if their offered plans suck, or aren’t right for us, or we don’t even have an employer who offers plans? What if we are our employers? We can’t rely on someone else to do all the navigating for us, especially as women: we have to become that smart friend who knows what she’s talking about, not just about budgets and investment, but about our health care (as boring as it sounds).
We have to be aware of the essential benefits of health plans, and how our health insurance plan actually works. And there is no program I know of that is better at helping you become that smart friend than PolicyGenius. Think of them as the TurboTax of health insurance, turning the simultaneously tedious and scary process of finding and buying the right insurance plan into something simple and fast.
Whether you are just leaving your parents’ plan and have no idea what to do, are freelance and need to protect yourself, or simply feel like you’re not getting anything out of your current plan, the reality is the time: You only have until December 15th if you want your health insurance to kick in on January 1st. Otherwise, you have until January 15th for your insurance to start February 1st, or until January 31st for your coverage to start March 1st. After that, open enrollment is closed until next fall.
You may think, “Not me! I’m not paying for health insurance!” But, under the law, you’re required to have health insurance. And, if you don’t, you’re subject to the individual mandate penalty — the higher of $695 ($347.50 for minors) or 2.5% of your income. So instead of paying for health insurance, you’re paying for…nothing. I’m saying this 100% to scare you — I’m the person who files her taxes before midnight on April 15th pretty much every year, and finished every homework assignment while walking into the class where it was due.
This election has thrown everyone for a loop (unless you’re some of my more eccentric family members, in which case I look forward to arguing with you extensively over the holidays).
I know that with things that are boring and intimidating like getting a health insurance plan, sometimes the impending deadline and scare tactics are the only things that really work. And with something easy and intuitive like PolicyGenius — where you can search for everything you want and need in a policy (including medications and favorite doctors), and rank your available plans against each other — you have no excuse not to get yourself covered with the best plan possible.
And the truth is that there are a lot of people who are rightfully asking themselves a lot of questions about health care now, likely including you, because you clicked on this link. Whether you’re frantically Googling the basics about Obamacare (PolicyGenius can explain more about what it really is, and yes they have Obamacare plans, as well as non-Obamacare plans that might actually be lower in price with all the same protections), or you just want to make sure you have the most comprehensive plan possible while you can get it, you need to do your research, and get yourself coverage. Their site is easy enough that I could navigate it, and you can go from “what does co-pay mean?” to “yay I have good insurance now” in about ten minutes. You can’t be sure of much, post-election, but you can be sure of your health. But only if you take charge and do something productive, starting with finding out what plan is right for you with PolicyGenius.
This post brought to you by PolicyGenius.
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