HSAs, high deductible plans, premiums. I’ve been in the workforce, also known to us millennials as “post-grad,” for two years now. Sure, I’ve heard those words thrown around during all of my orientation meetings in my past three positions and I quickly checked the box for the “most common” plan – not really having ANY idea what insurance I just chose. Who cared anyways? I was on my dad’s insurance plan until I was 26! Two more years of riding the gravy train, allowing myself to be totally oblivious to my coverage options.

I will admit – I was the worst. Almost clueless about insurance. I didn’t find it interesting or necessary to learn… boy, was I wrong.

After graduating college, I discovered I had some annoying food allergies which required me to see a gastroenterologist. Luckily, my specialist was incredible and she was able to diagnose and prescribe me with the right medications in only a few weeks! Unfortunately, I was mailed the bills from the appointments and you could say… my mind was blown. I had never received bills from a doctor before since I’ve been relatively healthy my entire life. When I broke my arm in third grade, my mom was the one who handled the bills (not my 8-year-old self)!

WOW. I knew a specialist would be pricey – but never did I imagine the actual cost. That’s when I decided … it’s time to learn about insurance. I need to know what the heck I am paying for and if it’s possible to find cheaper doctors, medications, facilities … anything!

My much more thorough friend was always talking about how awesome the HSA “free” money was since she opted out of an insurance plan (since she too, was still on her parents). I never understood what she meant until I left that job and began working at McGohan Brabender.

My mom was thrilled when she learned MB was an employee benefits health insurance brokerage because I would be able to learn an extremely valuable skill. I was also excited because I could finally figure out what all of these foreign acronyms meant and could begin to participate in conversations about the ACA – that’s Affordable Care Act, by the way (with knowledge of my own)!

After just a few months at McGohan Brabender, I found myself sharing my insurance knowledge every time I heard about a health problem, injury or insurance issue.

“Oh no, your husband fainted in another state?! What hospital did they take him too?! Was it in-network coverage?!” or “No way! You were prescribed THAT medication?! That’s the most inflated one in the market. You should ask your doctor about THIS generic instead.” or “Did you know if you do a 90-day mail order – you can actually get that prescription for free?” or “Wait, don’t go to the hospital that the therapist works in … if you check around, I’m sure there is a MUCH more affordable option in the area.”

HOLY COW. Who am I?! I just figured out I get free money on a debit card to pay for my prescriptions – and now I’m giving advice to my other millennial friends?!

I may be a little biased, but I AM working for the best company in the insurance business. It is our job to make these complicated terms simpler and easier to understand. Every day I learn something new and add it to my arsenal of insurance knowledge.

This is an incredible industry to be working in, especially now. People are realizing how screwed up our health care system is – and they are taking steps to change it. According to a white paper from Vertafore, 76 percent of millennial insurance professionals have been in the insurance industry for over three years — an impressive feat considering that 21 percent of millennials in 2016 reported that they had changed jobs within the past year (that would include me!). In addition, 87 percent of millennials in insurance would recommend a career in insurance to their friends. Seventy-two percent say they plan to work in insurance as long as possible.

Millennials appreciate a flexible work schedule, work/life balance, working with people, financial stability, professional development opportunities and the ability to be creative. Luckily, insurance checks all of the boxes and will continue to retain their millennial workforce.

I know I’m not planning on going anywhere and I’m thrilled to be a part of this organization that is trail-blazing its way to finding solutions and answers.