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Health insurance tips for young adults

Get it while you're healthy. Experts say healthy young adults can buy insurance at reasonable rates. Some tips:

- Know your insurance status. Are you still covered under a parent's policy? When will that coverage end?

- If you're working and your employer offers a health plan, think twice before turning it down to save money. How would you pay the hospital bill if you had an accident?

- If you're not working or your employer doesn't offer health benefits, ask an insurance agent about month-to-month gap coverage or high-deductible policies that cover only very serious health costs but have lower monthly rates.

- Anything that says you must "Act now!" or promises health care at discounted rates should raise suspicions.

- Read the fine print. Better yet, ask an insurance agent to help you compare policies.

- Some insurers have plans designed for young adults with high deductibles and low monthly premiums.

- The Web site www.eHealthInsurance.com offers free price quotes based on region, age and other factors.

- If you're laid off, find out about federal subsidies for COBRA premiums from your employer's benefits manager.

- If you are uninsured and have health problems, ask your state insurance commissioner's office about high-risk pools.

- The National Association of Insurance Commissioners offers more tips at www.insureUonline.org.

- The Associated Press

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