as a weekly practice I listen to npr and do a little sketch on one of the stories. take a look, you can click on the illustration to make it bigger!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Finding Health Insurance Can Be Tricky For Grads

For those who have aged out of their parents' health plan — and don't get benefits through an employer — the best option is to shop around for an individual health plan, experts say.

Lacey Schweitzer, 29, a part-time massage therapist and waitress in Denver, went almost seven years with no insurance. "I thought I couldn't afford it," says Schweitzer.But then she found an HMO through Kaiser Permanente in Colorado. The plan costs about $100 per month.

Schweitzer says she couldn't afford a premium plan — and she didn't anticipate needing to see specialists — so the preventive care plan from Kaiser Permanente is a good fit. "I can go to the doctor and do a co-pay. And I can get a prescription if I'm sick," she says. Schweitzer says the policy gives her peace of mind.

One place to start shopping for individual health plans is eHealthInsurance.com.

"There are lots of plans being offered out there," says Jennifer Libster, a lawyer and analyst at Georgetown University's Health Policy Institute. "But I think it can be very confusing."

A general rule of thumb is that the higher the monthly premium and the lower the deductible, the more coverage a policy offers. But plans vary. And the devil is in the details. "It's important to sit down and read your plan," says Libster. There can be lots of surprises when you sift through the details.

- excerpt from NPR

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