If you want real sticker shock, check into a hospital for a few days without health insurance. Health insurance is the last thing you want to be without - and with a little work and a few pointers to get you started, you can find the health coverage that meets your needs.
- If you leave a job where you're already covered, take advantage of COBRA and keep that policy. That way you'll have some time to explore your options.
- A group health policy is usually cheaper than an individual policy. Check out a trade association, alumni groups or some other organization that may offer a group plan you can join. But don't limit your search. Hire an insurance agent, contact your local HMOs and search the Net.
- Don't forget disability insurance. It insures your most valuable asset - your ability to earn a living off your skills and knowledge.
- Preventative maintenance lowers your medical bills and improves the quality of your life. Watch your diet, exercise and figure out ways to relieve stress. And build regular check-ups into your crowded calendar. Read also how to get a loan for health insurance.