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Health Insurance Basics

An Age-by-Age Health Benefits Guide

March 14, 2018
Choosing a health plan is about more than how much you pay. It’s about finding the right coverage for you based on age and lifestyle. This infographic takes a look at how to choose the health plan that's best for your needs.

Infographic Text

Just as your health needs change from one stage of life to the next, so should your health benefits. Choosing a plan is about finding benefits that are right for you and your lifestyle.

Age: 19-25

Because of the Affordable Care Act, you may be eligible to be a dependent on your parent’s health plan. If not, look for plans that:

  • Have a high deductible
  • Include critical illness and accident benefits.
  • Cover doctor visits at college
Age: 26-34

At this stage, you’re young, hopefully healthy - and are least likely to feel you need a health plan. But it takes just one accident to break the bank. Look for plans with:

  • Higher deductibles/lower monthly
  • premiums
  • Major medical benefits
  • Don’t forget to add a dental and vision plan
Age: 35-44

These are your peak earning years. You may also be raising a family – which means more frequent doctor visits and medical costs. Even though your monthly payments will cost more, consider plans with lower copayments and deductibles. And look for plans with:

  • Pregnancy care
  • Coverage for your entire family
  • Vision and dental benefits
Age: 45-64

As you begin moving toward retirement, start looking for benefits beyond medical as you plan for your golden years. Consider:

  • Long-term care
  • Disability
  • Preventive and diagnostic care screenings
Age: 65 and above

You have several options when choosing Medicare:

  1. Sign up for original Medicare only, Parts A and B.
  2. In addition to original Medicare, you can purchase a Medicare supplement plan to pay expenses Medicare parts A and B don’t cover. You can also get a Part D plan that provides drug-only benefits.
  3. Medicare Advantage plans, also known as Medicare Part C, are an alternative to original Medicare. Run by private insurance companies instead of the government, all MA plans must include hospital and medical coverage equal to Medicare Parts A and B, but often offer more comprehensive benefits.