Health Insurance For The Grads: Entering The Real World

The period following graduation can leave recent graduates struggling to find affordable health insurance coverage. From moving to a new city trying to find a new home or a new job, life can get busy. Graduation is also a transition to new health coverage and there are multiple options to consider. Fortunately, choosing new coverage has been much easier for college grads.

Some college grads may consider health insurance as an unnecessary expense, but no matter how healthy you are, going without coverage can be even costlier. The good news is that there are more coverage options available than years ago – some with low premiums and others may offer more comprehensive coverage or you may choose to combine the two. It’s up to you to weigh aspects such as employment, whether you are still in your parent’s plan, and so on.

Remain On Your Parent’s Plan

Thanks to the ACA, health insurance plans can no longer drop grads as soon as they are done with school. Except for retiree-only plans, you can remain on your parents’ plan until you turn 26. The new rules allow young adults, whether college students or not, to remain on their parents plan even if they are married or aren’t on their parents’ tax. Under some of these circumstances, it makes more sense to buy your own health insurance since your parent’s plan will not cover your family or if you moved out to another state.

Short-Term Health Insurance

Purchasing short-term health coverage can be a good option until a new policy kicks in. Even if you found a job, employers have waiting periods before you can purchase health coverage through them. Short-term health insurance is affordable, and it can be offered up to 364 days. However, based on your state, your short-term options may be limited to 3 to 6 months or these plans may not be available at all. Keep in mind pre-existing conditions may not be covered under short-term plans. Also, prescription drugs, maternity care, or mental health care, may not be covered. Short-term plans can serve you if you are healthy and only need several months of coverage. These plans can be purchased at any time throughout the year.

ACA-compliant Plans

While purchasing an ACA compliant plan may be the ideal solution, these plans can’t be purchased outside open enrollment unless you have a qualifying event such as moving to a new area or if you lost your school’s health coverage as long as the plan offered minimum essential coverage.  

Medicaid Eligibility

Medicaid has been expanded to many states to cover adults that may have income up to 138 percent of the poverty level. Fortunately, enrollment for Medicaid is available year-round, and in many cases, there are no premiums involved. This may good a solution for some college grads during the time it takes to find a reliable job.

Employer Coverage

Purchasing employer-sponsored coverage is the preferable path for many college grads since the employer already pays a large portion of the premium. But it might take some time for this to happen. Learn more about your coverage options as a college grad with the help of an agent here.

Sources
  • https://www.healthcare.gov/young-adults/children-under-26/

  • https://www.uhc.com/individual-and-family/insurance-plans/student-health-insurance

  • https://www.healthcare.gov/blog/student-health-insurance-options/

  • https://www.bestcolleges.com/resources/student-healthcare-guide/

  • https://www.healthcare.gov/blog/health-insurance-options-college-graduates/

  • https://www.healthcare.gov/blog/graduating-from-college-here-are-4-ways-to-get-health-coverage/

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