If you’ve read any article lately about “millennial”, chances are it’s about how we’re over our heads in student debt, glued to our cellphones, or not willing to pay our dues in the workplace. One area that I personally feel millennials are far behind in is personal finance. Whether it’s how to budget for health care (which we’ll be discussing today) or something as simple as writing a check (which some people my age still don’t know how to do), personal finance is crucial to our generation.
Millennials are a valuable part of the workforce. The millennial generation (ages 18 to 33) is perceived to be more comfortable with technology, entrepreneurial and optimistic about the future than our elder colleagues. But we are also at a disadvantage due to student loan debt and not being properly taught about how to manage our finances. I never had to take a personal finance class in high school or college, and I strongly believe that this should be made mandatory nation-wide. I knew nothing about health insurance and my options after graduating college. Could I stay on my parent’s plan? What did that entail? If I received health insurance, how much would it be? Which plan would I choose?
The 2014 Aflac WorkForces Report found that 35 percent of millennials have less than $500 to pay for them or a family member for out-of-pocket expenses associated with an unexpected serious illness or accident that occurred today. Scary, right? So what can you do to ensure you make the right decisions? First of all, educate yourself on how your insurance deductible works. If those words mean nothing to you, it’s best to review your plans or meet with a HR representative to help explain it to you better. For example, choosing a plan with a low monthly premium and a high deductible may give you more money in your paycheck, but could also result in unaffordable payments if you need medical care beyond covered preventive services.
When it came time for me to choose a health plan at my job, I had to make a mental “pros and cons” list in my head. I evaluated my medical history- do I often need to go to the doctor beyond my yearly checkup? Will I need to visit a specialist this year? After looking over my options, I decided that I am relatively healthy and don’t typically make trips to the ER. While I have certain health issues and concerns, they generally were all covered by basic health insurance. With this in mind, I chose the plan with a higher monthly premium and a lower deductible. I knew what the amount that would come out of my paycheck per month was and that I would be able to budget around that and still be able to pay my bills.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.