The very name is daunting. What is it?

We all know what insurance is, but do we know what it really is? Let’s ask our good friends Merriam and Webster.

Health insurance is: “insurance against loss through illness of the insured, especially : insurance providing compensation for medical expenses”

”…insurance providing compensation for medical expenses…”

In essence, if you are health insured, you are insured against possible lost due to an illness or medical issue. Simple enough right? Wrong.

In case you were not aware, medical care is quite expensive. Have you been to the ER before? Well the NIH puts the average cost of a trip to the ER at about $1,233, and all hospital visits averaging around $1,878. Obviously costs vary, with some being far cheaper, and some being in the millions, but you have to admit that’s a lofty price tag for a necessary, and potentially life or death service. So how do we bypass these costs? Well that’s where insurance comes in.

The United States, unlike most developed countries, does not offer universal healthcare to its citizens in any form. Every citizen has to find a way to get insurance, whether it be a private company, from their employer, or from the government, like Medicare. A controversial government implemented option is now present with the Affordable Care Act, but it is flawed and complicated at best, and indescribable at worst.

So why should college students be concerned about any of this. I personally am under my mom’s insurance and don’t really think about this too often. In fact, it seems like college students in general don’t think about it too often, because young adults ages 18 to 34 have the highest rates of being uninsured. This is especially worrisome because unexpected illness is one of the leading causes of family debt. We have student loans to worry about, so adding medical debt is certainly not ideal.

There are options available certainly, however that doesn’t change their sky high prices. Many college students simply can’t afford insurance so they opt out. Surely there’s got to be a way to protect our youth from illness, or even worse, DEBT!!!