As you transition into adulthood and move off your parent’s plan or shop for health insurance on the health insurance marketplace, it can be challenging to grasp exactly how much health care costs. There are monthly premiums, copayments and coinsurance expenses as well as spending to meet your deductible; making this knowledge the keystone to making sure unexpected medical bills do not spring up that you cannot pay.

Health care prices, unlike most consumer goods and services, tend to rise faster than overall inflation rates due to wage increases for health workers and market adjustments for higher price levels. But in recent years the medical inflation rate has moderated while overall inflation increased significantly.

Your health insurance premiums can vary significantly, depending on the plan offered by your employer, type of coverage selected and whether or not it covers family or individual coverage. A single person could pay as little as $117 monthly with company-sponsored plans or $477 for marketplace policies prior to any subsidies available to them.

Out-of-pocket costs will depend on the type of coverage and frequency of use, with two ways to estimate them being: deductibles and an annual out-of-pocket maximum. Your deductible represents what you owe before insurers start covering you – you can calculate this for any specific plan using our health insurance calculator.

Once your deductible has been met, there may still be copayments and coinsurance to pay. Copayments are fixed dollar amounts like $15 for doctor visits; coinsurance covers a percentage of your bill (for instance 80%/20% means insurer covers 80% while you cover 20%). Your maximum out-of-pocket limit determines how much money will come out of pocket in any one year before health insurance begins covering expenses completely.

With these facts in mind, we created this tool to help you better understand how health care costs are calculated and what steps can be taken to control them. Simply enter your ZIP code and household size for estimated costs for various health plans available in your area before selecting one and seeing how it compares with others – then begin saving money with our tips here or by downloading as PDF or PowerPoint presentation and sharing it among colleagues. To get started click here or download as PDF/PowerPoint presentation now –