I was spoiled in college when it came to health insurance. For $700 a year, I got health insurance coverage; during my last two years, financial aid covered that cost.
While I was in college, I was incredibly accident-prone and desperately needed that insurance: during those four years, I had an acid reflux attack that caused me to stop breathing temporarily, mononucleosis, a cancer scare, sprained ankle, damaged nerve in my index finger due to a knife wound, and a severely injured hip that required extensive physical therapy. And that does not even include medications. My professors even started to keep track of how many times I came to class with a new injury.
I realized my health insurance was running out when only $0.12 was covered for my birth control pills two months before my insurance card expired. However, getting new health insurance is not that easy for me. Like many Americans, I do not get health insurance through an employer. I work full-time as a freelance writer while preparing to go back to school for my dual master's next year. While I belong to the Freelancers Union, which provides a discount on insurance, I am still looking at between $300 and $400 a month—quite a price jump for me.
Buying health insurance for the first time is definitely a learning experience. I split my time between Connecticut and New York, so I need an insurance plan where I can receive treatment in both states. Connecticut does have insurance plans that cost significantly less; however, there are multiple restrictions. You cannot go outside of the network while you are under coverage; thus, I could not use these plans while I am in New York. Besides finding a deductible I can afford, I also need extensive prescription medication coverage. The college health insurance plan I had covered up to $500 in medication; I went through that pretty quickly.
While in between coverage, there is some extra anxiety: what if I get injured? How would I pay for additional medication or hospital fees? This is a worry of many recent graduates as they make the transition.