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Like other adult things, choosing your first health insurance plan seems scary until you do it.
Lots of acronyms you never heard before? Check. You know it's going to hit your wallet? Check. It's some mysterious part of your job with a lot of brochures? Check.
When you're looking through your plan choices, ask yourself what's going on in your life, says Jeff Oldham, senior vice president of global and institutional markets at Benefitfocus, a benefits enrollment software company.
But first, learn the following words and acronyms. When you meet with the HR people at your company, you'll have a head start and the sheer bulk of information won't seem so daunting.
You'll need to know these terms so you can make informed decisions:
Millennials are drawn to high-deductible health plans for a few reasons.
The amount of the deductible may seem daunting, "but your premium is much lower," Oldham said. "You are telling the insurance company you're in pretty good health."
Decades of growth on pre-tax money makes the HSA a powerful savings vehicle for your retirement years, Oldham says.
The average retiree spends more than $275,000 on health care alone, a figure that could easily double by the time millennials hit the golden years, according to Oldham.
If you're planning a trip to some rugged, remote location, Oldham recommends accident insurance. That way, you can still take advantage of the lower cost of a high-deductible plan.
And if you're thinking of ditching insurance, don't. "The mandate to have health insurance was repealed, but it doesn't take effect till 2019," Oldham said.
One last piece of advice. "Don't take the money you save on lower premiums and blow it," Oldham said. Develop good savings habits by stashing it in your HSA or putting it toward student debt.