One of my best friends from high school said to me, “Oh, I don’t have health insurance. There really is no point to it.” It’s a common belief, but today I’m going to talk about why health insurance is important, and how to get insured.

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Why do I even need health insurance?

You’re not the only one asking. So let’s say you really did not want to study for that exam and thought, “Well exercise is better than studying text books, and lecture slides can’t make me feel guilty while I am hiking. Better health, better me!” So you hike up some of Winona’s scenic bluffs, trying to be as mindful as possible. Then, suddenly, you trip over an exposed tree root that was covered by the crunchy brown foliage and the next thing you know you have a broken leg.

A visit to the emergency room can be quite expensive, not including treatments, physical therapy expenses and other fees that you didn’t realize existed. If this broken leg requires surgery, then the cost can could be even higher.

However, with health insurance, the insured individual will only pay the doctor’s co-pay and some other costs based off the health insurance deductible. That is why health insurance is important! Without it, a broken leg or a hospital stay can put you or your family into some serious debt. With health insurance, the broken leg becomes a much more affordable accident.

How can I learn more about health insurance?

Health insurance can be intimidating, I know. This video explains health insurance lingo and other common questions.

How do I get coverage? 

So, if you are still with me (which you should be because this is important), we’re going to look at ways to get insurance. If you do have health insurance (either under your parent(s)/guardian(s) plan, or on your own) and you are not quite sure what is covered or not, just call your insurance’s customer service number on the back of the card and ask them.

If you are a Minnesota resident and do not have health insurance check out MnSure. The website is simple to navigate and it provides basic steps, enrollment questions and information about the application process. The cool part is that you may also qualify for financial assistance! The application and enrollment period is November 1 through January 14.

For Wisconsin residents and other out-of-state Warriors, please check out www.healthcare.gov and apply for health insurance. Health insurance is an important, “adult” thing to have because it makes everyday and the emergency health conditions easier on the bank account.

Resources

If you have more questions about how to get or use health insurance, you can call the Insurance Coordinator Traci Kauphusman at 507.457.2297, or call the main line of Health, Counseling & Wellness Services at  507.457.5160.

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