Health insurance is essential, even if you feel healthy, accidents and sudden illnesses can happen. The first step has to be to check through your parents, employer, or school—wherever you can qualify for insurance now. See what they cover and don’t cover. Are your pregnancy costs covered? Which pregnancy costs? Is your child covered? What will insurance cover for your child?
If you cannot be covered through any of the above or you are insufficiently covered, it is time to look elsewhere. Through the Affordable Care Act, you can purchase health insurance through special exchanges. The federal exchange can be found here: www.healthcare.gov. Just plug in your ZIP code, and if there is a state or local exchange where you live, it will direct you there.
Another option could be Medicaid or CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program). Applying for Medicaid and CHIP is very particular, depending on your state. Different states have different rules and regulations for the programs, and it’s hard to make any blanket statements about them. For more information: https://www.healthcare.gov/medicaid-chip/getting-medicaid-chip/
Here is a glossary of the sometimes confusing terms you will run into while choosing and applying for health insurance:
Premium: The amount you pay for the coverage, usually monthly.
Deductible: The amount you have to pay out of pocket for services before insurance will kick in and pay for some of it.
Co-pay: The amount you have to pay upfront for a service after the deductible has been met.
For more definitions, go here: https://www.medmutual.com/For-Individuals-and-Families/Health-Insurance-Education/Glossary-of-Terms.aspx