Let's talk about insurance.

Insurance is scary. Often times, us young folk don't bother to learn about it because we know what we believe to be the most crucial piece of information: young adult coverage lasts until you're 26 years old. To a college freshman, that feels like ages away. So why should we bother to learn about insurance when we know we're gonna live forever and never experience sickness or pain?

Yeah, no.

Sadly, we're not immortal, despite how our youth makes us feel. We're going to get sick. We're going to break our bones and get receive burns and need medical help. And when the day comes when we are 26 and need medical help, we're going to need to understand insurance.

How are you going to become an insurance wizard?

There are a few different routes. You could binge-read a bunch of internet articles, you could try and find a "How Insurance Works for Dummies" book, which probably exists. You could do what I would recommend, which is talk to your parents first and then fill in the gaps with your own research.

Here's a list of key words:

(Because this can get boring, the following list will be peppered with animal GIFs)

1. Deductible. This is the amount you pay for medical services out of pocket before your insurance begins to pay. It is important to know your personal deductible because it can be higher for some people, and this in turn can affect how you time your visits to the doctor or when you're going to get your wisdom teeth removed.

2. Copay. A flat fee for certain medical expenses. These usually don't count towards your deductible, and are typically made after your deductible is met.

3. Insurance card. This is simply the card you carry that has your insurance ID on it. You should carry this with you at all times, because insurance cards also have the number for customer service on them.

4. Drug formulary. A list of medications covered by your plan. This can make the difference between paying $1.53 and $25.53 for the same 30-day bottle of medication.

5. Providers in your network. This is referring to the specific list of doctors or medical institutions that are covered by your insurance. You want to see doctors that are covered on your plan in order to pay the least. Seeing doctors that are not covered by your plan is the same as paying out of pocket, which can cost a mind-blowing amount in comparison to seeing the doctors that your plan covers.

You'll want to know what happens when you break your arm. You'll want to know what happens when you get diagnosed with high anxiety and are prescribed Zoloft to treat it. So talk to your parents, talk to your insurance's customer service, read about what it all means, because you'll want to know what to do when you find yourself needing to pay for medical services. It's better to know than to be ignorant about it, because no bliss comes from talking to your insurance's customer service for four hours to sort out how you're going to pay to have your tonsils removed.