Even before benefits became my job, I knew they were a big deal. When my parents talked to me about job options as I dove into the workforce—and before that, too—much of the conversation revolved around the importance of benefits, notably health insurance.

No health insurance? Never an option. It didn't matter how much it cost; I knew I had to have it.

My own health insurance plan after college became a badge of honor. I was supporting myself, no longer on my parents' plan. For me it also felt like a personal — and social — responsibility.

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