Get Covered: A Health Care Toolkit for Gen Y
Young Invincibles have re-released their new and improved Getting Covered Toolkit, the ultimate guide to health care for young adults. From sticking to your parents' plans to purchasing your own plan, this toolkit is made by and for young people, answering all the questions that arise when it comes to taking responsibility for your health and health care coverage.
Many of us aren't as educated as we should be about the ins and outs of healthcare. As a Millennial myself, I know I never got a formal lesson in health care--I learned as I went, and luckily have been covered sufficiently and cost-effectively in my few years of independence post-college.
That's why I was particularly excited to check out this toolkit. I got a sneak preview before it went live and I can safely say that it's a great asset for any young person.
Here's a quick look at the coolest things about this new and improved toolkit, which is available as a free download here.
1. It’s for Dummies (make that Newbies)
If there is ever a high school class on health care (which there totally should be, am I right?!), this toolkit would be the solid curriculum. Filtered of jargon and nuances, the toolkit is straightforward and clear in describing the who, what, and why of health care for young people. It spells out all the options available so you know where to start in your research.
2. Everyone’s invited
This toolkit isn’t just for college-goers. There are customized toolkits for sections for recent graduates, high school graduates heading off to college, and high schoolers heading in another direction. So, no matter where you are or what you’re doing, this guide has answers for you.
You're not a single, young adult seeking employment? There's something for you in here too. GettingCovered.org also has sections for parents and employers to get everyone on the same page.
3. They <3 States
(That's social media speak for heart, if you're among the uninitiated.) Once you gain the general understanding of how healthcare works, then you have to find out what is available to your state, which varies. The toolkit includes complete guides for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
4. It’s up-to-date
The past couple of years have brought some big changes in health care laws. Who gets how much health coverage and how much it costs has been shifting. If you didn't stay on top of all the fine print, no matter. This toolkit has all the latest information, including the new rules on contraception and college health plans through the Affordable Care Act.
5. Special sections for women, pre-existing conditions, and cancer
Chronic conditions: Millions of young adults have pre-existing health conditions, which are included in adendums in health care plans. If you suffer from a chronic condition such as asthma, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure, this section will help guide your research to be sure it includes attention to your condition.
Cancer: The big C ... it's scary. Many of us forget that it can and does happen to young adults. This section includes ways to reduce your risk, the types of cancer to which young adults are prone, and tips to be sure you're getting the answers you need from your doctor.
Ladies: We need extra preventative care, too. Visits to "well-woman" preventative care, cervical cancer and STI screenings, HPV vaccines, and prescription contraception are now part of most plans. The toolkit includes a form that details your rights to women's care through health plans (there's new info on this), pregnancy care, as well as your rights against discrimination.
6. The glossary.
Need I say more? When it comes to reading up on plans and filling out paperwork, you're blasted with jargon. Keep this with you and you'll have a full understanding of what you're signing up for.
7. Super share-able.
This toolkit is made of colorful, clear, and concise one (or two)- pagers that are great for sharing with peers. Forward the sections relevant to your friends in an email, or print out a pile and put them at your student center on campus (make sure you get the right permissions first). You'll be helping your peers be smart, save money, and stay healthy.
Liked this toolkit? Young Invincibles recently released a similar toolkit on skills and jobs around the country. Check it out.
Alison Beth Waldman, is Editorial Assistant and resident Millennial at SparkAction. You can reach her at alison[@]sparkaction.org.
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