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(PPO) plan. HMOs typically provide medical services through
a prespecified network of doctors and hospitals, and enroll
ees choose providers from within the system or else pay the
costs themselves (except in emergencies detailed in the plan).
To see a specialist, HMOs typically require enrollees to get a
referral from their primary care provider. HMOs usually have
lower premiums than PPOs and require less paperwork.
In contrast, a PPO allows enrollees to choose medical provid-
ers from within or outside the plan's network, but they may
have to pay co-insurance payments if they use outside provid-
ers. PPOs typically do not require referrals to see specialists.
They require little paperwork if enrollees see doctors or use
hospitals within their plan's network, but require more pa-
perwork if enrollees go outside of the network. PPOs typically
charge higher premiums than HMOs.
HMO options often offer a flexible spending account (FSA),
whereas PPO options may offer a health savings account
(HSA). With either type of account, an employee can contrib-
ute money to an account through payroll deductions during
the plan year (the contribution is taken out of the person's
earnings before taxes are estimated and withheld). The
person can then use the money to pay for qualified medical
expenses, including co-pays, deductibles, and other medical
expenses and products not covered by their health plan, in a
If you own a car, you will need to purchase
auto insurance to protect yourself financially. Most states
require that you carry at least a minimum amount of coverage,
but you may want to buy more: You can be held financially
responsible if losses exceed your policy's coverage limits.
Many financial advisors suggest carrying at least $50,000 in
coverage for injuries to a single person and $100,000 to cover
everyone hurt in an accident. Like health insurance, you will
pay a premium for coverage and will share costs with your
insurer if there is a loss through a deductible, co-insurance,
and maximum coverage amount.
If you rent an apartment, your landlord's
insurance covers the building, but not your personal property.
To protect yourself from possible losses, you may want to buy
renter's insurance. It typically will cover losses to your posses-
sions from break-ins or damage from fire or severe weather.
It usually will cover losses at your rental and away (such as
on vacation or in your car) and for injuries to visitors in your
apartment. It typically will not cover business pursuits or
professional services and natural disasters, such as sinkholes,
earthquakes, and wildfires.
Depending on your job and age, you may also
want to consider life, disability, long-term care insurance.
5. Prepare for a disaster.
Millions of people encounter human-made and natural disas-
ters each year, and it is crucial to prepare for them. Be sure
you can readily access:
Phone and phone charger
Water and non-perishable food
Flashlights and batteries
First aid kit
Pet food and water for your pet
Personal hygiene supplies
Important documents and items in a waterproof bag
Copies of important documents, including driver's license,
passport, birth certificate, Social Security card, wills, dura
ble power of attorney, health care proxy, etc.
Debit and credit cards and cash
Contact information for family members, friends, doctors,
dentists, insurance companies and financial institutions
An inventory of your possessions (videotaping your prop-
erty and retaining receipts will help in case you need to
claim a loss)
So, here are a few steps that will help simplify your life as an
independent young adult. Taking some time upfront to pre-
pare can save you countless headaches and effort later. It will
help you protect you and your assets!