As you likely know, I am a proud millennial. I think that we are an amazing generation and will only continue to grow and show the world what we’ve made of.
That is, of course, despite the challenges that have been placed in front of us. Yes, it’s true that all generations face challenges and difficulties along the way. And perhaps our difficulties aren’t as bad as other generations, considering we are so reliant on our parents, who help us get through the toughest (and best!) times.
I remember talking to one of my friends — a Gen Xer — a few years ago, who couldn’t believe that I called my parents on a daily basis and they were often the first people I called when I needed advice. That’s just how we roll, us millennials.
But in some ways, has that set us up for disaster? Do we not understand how to handle “life” unless our parents are there to support us? After all, an Aflac survey found that 72% of millennials said that they at least somewhat agree that they regularly underestimate the total cost of an injury or illness, including medical, household and out-of-pocket expenses.
On top of that, 62% said that they had $1,000 or less on hand to pay unexpected out-of-pocket medical expenses.
While we rely on our parents for most things, there are some things that we try to do on our own — like choosing our own health insurance options. I am usually guilty of this… I go for the cheapest option, trying to get it off my plate as soon as possible. But, honestly, what would that do for me if I wiped out during a run? Or something else happened?
And, I’m not alone. Many millennials aren’t taking time to educate themselves about the benefits options being offered to them – according to Aflac’s WorkForces Report, nearly half of millennials admit they spent 30 minutes or less preparing for and selecting their benefits choices in 2013.
So, as you re-evaluate your health insurance options this fall, there are a few things to think about before you quickly check off boxes to get it out of the way:
- Health insurance premiums should be considered a budget essential rather than a discretionary expense, like entertainment.
- Educate yourself about how your insurance deductible works. For example: a health insurance plan with a low monthly premium / high deductible, may seem like you’re getting more money —> but it can also result in medical bills up to wazoo if you need medical care not covered by your premium.
- Considering a health savings account as part of a high deductible health plan? Contribute as much as you can. That way, you’ll have money set aside to meet the deductible and other payments that may arise.
- Consider adding voluntary insurance products for more financial protection. Accident and Critical Illness plans work hand-in-hand with major medical plans, providing benefits to help policyholders with health-related costs their primary insurance may not cover. Those policies can also be used to help with out-of-pocket costs and other expenses that continue to roll in even if you’re too ill or injured to work.
Learn more about the Aflac survey results here (some crazy stats!) —> One Emergency Away from Financial Disaster
Are you a millennial? Do you feel your are financially prepared for a medical emergency?
Do you talk to your parents on a daily basis? =]
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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