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Health insurance 101: 4 tips for young adults

By The Health News Team | August 9, 2023
Health insurance 101: 4 tips for young adults

Let’s face it — becoming an adult can be intimidating. There’s paying bills, living on your own and setting up your own health care for the first time. After years of going to a doctor chosen by your family, it can be confusing to know what to do when it’s time to take charge of your own health. Whether you’re signing up for health insurance through your employer or searching for a plan through Covered California™, the amount of options can be overwhelming.

Don Truong, the director of sales at Sharp Health Plan, shares these four tips for young adults navigating health insurance plans for the first time.


Know your options.

Not all health plans are alike, so it’s important to look around until you find options that work best for you. Covered California, the state’s health insurance marketplace, is a great place to start when browsing plans.

“It’s comparable to shopping on Amazon,” says Truong. “You want to purchase the products that have high-quality ratings.”

Price is also an important factor to consider during your search. “Check with Covered California to see if you qualify for any financial assistance to help pay for the monthly premium, copays and deductibles,” says Truong. “The Inflation Reduction Act lowers premium costs to help make health care coverage more affordable. If you qualify for assistance, Covered California will notify you and update your premium assistance.”


Learn the terms.

When comparing plans and prices, it’s important to know these key terms:

  • Deductible — the amount you owe for health care services before your health plan starts to pay

  • Premium — the amount you pay for your health insurance every month

  • Copay — a fixed amount you pay for a covered health care service


Contact a health plan for one-on-one support.

“A health plan’s enrollment team can help you to choose the right plan for your needs,” says Truong.

Certified enrollment counselors — in other words, health insurance experts — can help you figure out which plan is best for you. Get in touch with a counselor to get your questions answered. Some health insurance providers, like Sharp Health Plan, offer free health insurance seminars and enrollment workshops to help answer questions, make it easier to select a plan and enroll.


Find a doctor who’s right for you.

Once you have found your health plan, another big decision comes when selecting your primary care doctor. There are so many factors that go into finding someone who fits your lifestyle and personality.

According to Truong, the top reasons people choose a primary care doctor are age, gender and location. It’s also important to find a doctor you will feel comfortable talking to about your health concerns. Doctor profiles on your health plan’s website can give you a sense of doctors’ personalities to see who matches what you are looking for.

“Adulting” can be hard, but choosing a health plan doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of options and resources to help you navigate through the process and find the perfect health insurance plan for you.

Covered California’s open enrollment period is Nov. 1, 2023, through Jan. 31, 2024. Find out today if you qualify for financial help.

Sharp makes it easy to get the care you need. Learn more at

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