By Hannah Spaar
One of the most important things we don’t like to think of ourselves as old enough to worry about is insurance. But it’s something that once set up, we can forget about and get back to having fun.
Health insurance is getting easier to have taken care of, since under the Affordable Care Act (if you don’t recognize the title, you almost certainly know it as “Obamacare”) you can stay on a parent’s insurance plan until you’re 26. That’s huge, as it allows you to get through college, and get settled before having to deal with setting up your own.
Of course, there are some situations where that might not be ideal. Your parents might not have insurance, or if it is state-based, it might only provide for a state you don’t live in. So find out the situation with your parents’ health insurance, and then find out what you need to do.
If you need to find your own and can’t through an employer, starting next year there will be government-run websites called insurance exchanges where you can find a plan that works best for you. There has been a lot of political talk about the formation of these websites, but they will exist for each state in 2014.
But something to pay attention to, particularly at our age, is dental insurance. If you haven’t yet, you’re likely going to have to have your wisdom teeth taken out in the future. A dentist can tell you how likely and soon this is. Since dental insurance is different than health insurance, this is something that often gets forgotten, but it really makes a big difference in a procedure such as removing wisdom teeth, which is luckily something that can be anticipated.
I know that, personally, my family didn’t feel comfortable with me having my wisdom teeth removed without insurance, so I had to wait out the waiting period on the insurance before having the surgery. Since this also led to running into timing issues, I had to wait a few years after the problem was first noticed before I could have mine removed, and the teeth became more problematic over time, leading to them taking longer to heal than if I’d been able to have them removed as soon as they became problematic.
So, understanding all that comes with the weird world of insurance can be tricky, but it can definitely come in handy down the road.
Hannah Spaar is a senior majoring in print and digital journalism at the University of Missouri.
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