Young adult health care

Adulting 101: Figuring Out Health Insurance

There are a lot of parts of adulthood that are confusing. Paying bills, doing taxes, scheduling appointments and even remembering to eat all on a regular basis can feel like trying to fly an airplane with no training. And managing your health care is no different. Deductibles, co-pays, PPOs and HMOs: what do these words even mean? As you get older, you are going to have to eventually figure out what this whole “health insurance thing” is. But fortunately, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has made it as simple as possible for you.

If you have Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan or Blue Care Network insurance coverage (either on your own or under a parents’ plan), take a few minutes of your day to download the BCBSM app and register for an online member account. Doing so, you can:
• Keep track of your deductibles, maximums and copays (basically, what you will have to pay when getting health care services).
• Look up your coverage for specific health care services, like if you need to see a chiropractor or surgeon.
• Find a doctor near you (really helpful if you’re going away for school!).
• View or change your primary care physician.
• See if your plan covers certain prescription drugs, and what they cost.

If you just skimmed through those bullet points because you don’t understand what they mean, it’s okay. That’s why Blue Cross created such a helpful app. Think of it as a navigation app that takes all the stressful, confusing health care jargon and puts it into simplified terms. And if you think you can’t register yourself online or use the app because you are still on your parents’ insurance plan, you’re wrong. Every individual (18 years and older) who is covered under a plan can download this app and register themselves.

Okay but WHY would you want to download this app and register? You might be thinking, “I don’t want to deal with taking care of my health insurance.” Fair argument, I’m not sure anyone wakes up in the morning and immediately thinks “I cannot wait to check out my health insurance benefits today!”, but as young adults, there are multiple benefits to registering yourself as a member online.

We will start with the basics: do you really want your parents knowing everything about your personal health still? I am going to assume for most of us, the answer is no. By downloading this app and registering yourself for an online membership, you can locate a doctor and check your coverage for certain health care services without having to go through your parents.

Another perk of registering yourself is being able to manage your own health care if you no longer live at home. Whether you are moved out or away at school for the year, the BCBSM app will let you check your prescription statuses, find a doctor near your new home or campus, and other useful features for a newly-autonomous young adult. A couple of interns here at Blue Cross registered for an online membership through the BCBSM app and can attest to its handy features:

Haley: “I honestly had no idea that I could register for my own account since I am still on my parents plan. I’m so happy I was able to just download the app and register on my own because it helps me keep track of my health care when I am away at school, which is 10 hours from home. Now I don’t have to continuously go through my parents when I need help with my health care and can locate a doctor near my campus.”
Jill: “I’m so glad that I have the BCBSM mobile app. Since I go to school out-of-state, I’ve used it to find doctors and other hospitals when I’m not at home. It’s also nice to be able to track expenses and get cost estimates through the tools within the app.”

So at least now we can sleep peacefully knowing that health insurance isn’t as terrifyingly difficult as we first thought it would be. Downloading the BCBSM app and registering yourself for an online member account will allow you to manage your own health care and take another step forward into the world of growing up. Adulting might be hard, but at least your health care doesn’t have to be.

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Photo credit: Helena Lopes

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