Aging Out

Birthday present or birthday curse? When you turn 26, health insurance is your responsibility. 

The big 26. You’ve been able to legally rent a car for a whole year, go to 21-and-over music shows for five, and maybe you’ve even voted in a few elections by now. But while you still have a lot of your youth left, you also have a new responsibility in your life: Choosing and paying for your own health insurance. 

Maybe this is nothing new to you—not all people get to benefit from being on a parent’s health insurance plan. Regardless of your experience up to this point, when you turn 26 in the state of New York, you are legally required to get your own coverage. 

You might be thinking, “Oh, come on. I’m in my twenties. I’ve never had any health issues. What do I have to worry about?” Well, just as you were not able to foresee what life would be like at 25 when you were 24, you can’t predict the future that 26 and beyond holds. The difference now is that you have to play without a safety net. 

Although you might be a healthy person, there are many factors that could cause you to need medical attention. Here are some real-life situations you could face, which, without insurance, would be very difficult to deal with: 

  • Need to go to the emergency room? One ER visit might cost $1,688 or more*  
  • Tear your ACL playing sports, or simply taking a walk? Knee surgery alone might cost around $13,403*
  • Break your wrist—one of the most commonly broken bones? Surgery starts at roughly $6,577* 
  • Take daily medications? Or need to get antibiotics for an infection? Prescription medications are way more expensive when purchased without insurance. 

As any true New Yorker already knows, anything can happen, even if you lead your life cautiously. The most responsible thing to do for your personal safety and well-being is to find a health insurance plan that not only keeps you covered, but that you can afford without sacrificing a knee or wrist. 

CRASH COURSE: Health Insurance For Beginners

Don’t know an HMO from a PPO, or a copay from a deductible? Let us walk you through the basics.

From low-cost plans that cover essentials and more, to plans designed specifically for NYC employees, to a selection of plans that suit your specific goals and needs, MetroHealthPlus has your back. After all, we live in New York too, and we all had to start somewhere. Let us help.

Would you like to speak with someone directly to learn more? Our dedicated representatives are available 7 days a week. Email us at [email protected], or give us a call at (855) 809-4073.

*Sources: ER visits (CBS), knee surgery (NIH), wrist surgery (NIH)

last updated: August 18, 2022

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