Health insurance costs can vary considerably, and how much you’re going to pay depends on several factors. First, age is a big factor. Generally speaking, the older you are, the more you will usually pay with all other factors considered equal. Older adults can expect to pay as much as three times more than young adults for the same insurance coverage. Beyond the scope of not being as likely to have health conditions that warrant needing care, young people are less likely to seek medical help even when they may need it, too.
Where you live may impact how much you pay for health insurance, too. Typically, if where you’re residing comes in tow with a high cost of living, you can expect to pay more for both medical costs and health coverage. Another factor sure to raise your health insurance premium is being a smoker or being overweight. A high BMI will almost always guarantee a higher price tag on your health insurance policy due to the strong link between obesity and a wide variety of health conditions.
When it comes to the Affordable Care Act, coverage plans under the health insurance marketplace range from the most affordable—bronze plans—to the most expensive—catastrophic plans. Many young adults believe catastrophic plans are their best bet since their health needs are low, but the premiums and deductibles that come along with these plans can be steep and aren’t always the best option. One of the best benefits of plans under the ACA is that they cannot charge insured members more based on gender or pre-existing conditions. In addition, substance abuse treatment and mental health coverage are mandated for every policy.
These benefits are not always requirements for private policies purchased outside of the government’s health insurance marketplace. For private plans, pre-existing conditions and even health conditions pertaining to family medical history can influence the rate you’ll pay for health insurance coverage. Believe it or not, even what you do for a living can cost you more. Individuals who work in high stress positions or in environments where they may be exposed to toxins or are at increased risk of being in a work-related accident will usually pay more for health insurance.
One factor that might save budding adults from high insurance costs is the incentive of a family plan. This is beneficial to the 18-year old couple. The cost to cover one person is usually higher on an individual plan than a family plan. Being married itself usually lowers premiums, because research shows married people are healthier and live longer compared to single people. Typically, two 18-year olds aren’t likely to have pre-existing conditions. With that working in their favor, the average cost of health insurance coverage for an 18-year old couple is around $250 at the lowest and as much as $700. Where you fall in that range will depend heavily on the factors mentioned above.