Why Health Insurance Is Important & What Options You Have

James LaCorte
People writing on a document

You never plan to get sick or have a medical condition. So when the unexpected happens, having health insurance can give you peace of mind.

Health insurance also helps you maintain good health. People with health insurance are more likely to stick to routine care or check-ups when something seems a little off.

Here are a few stories from members sharing how health insurance has helped them in times of need:

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22-25 years old

  • Coverage through your student health plan — Many colleges offer student health plans. It can be an easy and affordable way to get basic coverage. Many times, it’s part of your tuition.

  • Coverage under your parents’ plan – If your parents have insurance, you may be able to stay on their policy until you turn 26.

26 years old and older

  • Medicaid — Medicaid helps low-income children, adults and families get health care coverage. You can apply online, by mail or in person at your local Department of Social Services (DSS).

  • Catastrophic plans — These plans provide coverage protecting you from major health issues. Because of the limited coverage, your monthly premium is lower, and you have a high deductible.

  • Marketplace Plans– You can shop for Marketplace plans where you may qualify for tax credits or other savings.

  • Blue Cross NC Individual Plans– Many of our plans offer coverage statewide, preventive services paid at 100%. You’ll have access to online tools to find doctors and compare health care costs.

Health insurance through your employer

If you work for an employer who offers health insurance as part of their benefits package, this may be your best option. The employer pays a portion of the expense for you.

You will still pay a premium and may have copays or coinsurance. But these plans are attractive because the premiums come out of your paycheck before taxes.

Life happens, and situations change

We understand that life happens, and situations change. In the health insurance industry, these important life changes are called “qualifying life events.” When you experience a qualifying life event, you become eligible for a special enrollment period. This allows you to sign up for coverage or update your current plan. It’s your chance to make necessary changes or to choose new or different coverage based on your needs.

Some qualifying life events include:

  • Getting married

  • Having a baby

  • Losing other health coverage due to events, such as a job loss

  • Moving permanently to a new state. (Note: Temporary moves or temporary changes in location, including long-term stays at hospitals, are not qualifying events.)

  • Turning 26 and losing eligibility for coverage on a parent’s insurance plan

If you’ve experienced a qualifying life event, it’s important to shop for and choose new health insurance right away. Generally, a special enrollment period is only available up to 60 days after the qualifying event. After that, you may not be able to add or update your health insurance coverage until the next open enrollment period begins.

Learn more about deadlines and how to apply here.

The Biden administration has opened a special enrollment period during the COVID-19 pandemic. This means that you can enroll in a new insurance plan or change your plan, whether or not you’ve had a qualifying life event.

This enrollment period began on February 15, 2021 and runs through May 15, 2021. If you want to select a new health insurance plan, this is an opportunity to do so. Here’s everything you need to know about this special enrollment period.

Need Help?

We have several options to get your questions answered, so you feel confident in selecting the right plan for you.


Want to speak with someone directly about enrolling in health insurance? You can get a free quote and contact the Health Plans of NC Agent on this webpage. 

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