Seriously, young people, you need health insurance

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This article was last updated in 2014. For the most up-to-date information on health insurance, visit our Health Insurance Guide.

Without health insurance, the average cost to treat a broken leg is over $10,000.

That’s what I want to tell the 100 young people, interviewed in this New York magazine article, "The Young Not-So-Invincibles" who are on the fence about getting health insurance. And in this unending, Game-of-Thrones-like winter we’re having, a broken leg is a real possibility. (New York City emergency rooms have reported a 300% increase in snow-related injuries).I also want to tell them that health insurance is probably not as expensive as they think. The most basic health insurance plan – which would prevent you from having to pay $10,000 to treat a broken leg – costs $307 per month. That’s $10 a day (or, in the language of trite financial advice, two fancy coffees a day). Oh, and it would also help pay for: visits to a therapist, chiropractic care, prescriptions from your dermatologist, the flu shot and a lot of other services.

Those unconvinced 18-34-year-olds should also know that they’d get help paying for health insurance if they make less than $45,000 per year. For example, a single 30-year-old earning $30,000 a year would qualify for a subsidy of $156 per month. That would cover more than half the cost of that $307/month health insurance plan. And the subsidy increases the lower your income (and if you make under $15,000 a year, you get free health care under Medicaid).One more fact for the "young not-so-invincibles": it’s not so difficult to enroll. Yes, there have been a lot of headlines about technical glitches and slow websites that remind you of the early days of the internet. But, after a bumpy start, the New York health insurance marketplace has pretty much gotten its act together. We’ve shopped on it (and written about it) and helped a lot of other consumers shop on it too. Plus, you can get help enrolling in a health plan from a broker like us (and it’s free to you!)Open enrollment in health insurance ends March 31st. Give us a shout at and we can help. If you know others who need help, use the share buttons to spread the word.