Downside: Plans and plan options may be limited. To avoid paying a higher premium than necessary, buy only the coverage as you need. Many employers provide online tools to help figure this out.
You're a newlywed.
If both of you can sign up for employer-sponsored health coverage, review both sets of options to see which is a better fit. Downside: It's easy to forget about maternity coverage when you pick a plan. If you're thinking about a baby, get the coverage.
You're strapped and not earning much.
If your income is no greater than an amount defined by each state and pegged to the federal poverty level (currently $10,830 for a single adult), you may qualify for Medicaid coverage. It can be comprehensive and have little or no cost. You can see whether you qualify at Benefits.gov. Downside: Many states set the income bar so low that unless you're a dependent, a parent, or disabled, it is difficult to qualify.
Corrected on : This article was originally reported on 4/22/2009. It has been updated.