When you’ve been on your parent’s health insurance for all 26 years of your life, knowing what to do next can be confusing. Here’s how to navigate insurance after you get kicked off your parents’ coverage.
What to Know Before You’re Kicked Off
The Affordable Care Act says you can stay on the plan as a dependent until you’re 26. Certain states will enable you to stay on longer, but the general rule is 26 years old. Regardless of being in school, getting married, having a child or no longer being claimed as a dependant for tax purposes, you can still stay on the insurance.
Only six states passed other laws allowing young adults to stay on their parent’s insurance. Check your local laws to see how it works and affects you. The states that do this are:
- New Jersey
- South Dakota
Before getting off their insurance, you’ll want to take care of routine appointments or expensive procedures. Specific programs and policies that began during COVID-19 are ending, which means options like telehealth are less available. It’s essential to make time for these appointments while you can. If any operations take some time to recover from, make sure you do them with enough time in advance.
Your Health Insurance Options
Although it may feel like you’re losing a connection with your parents, it’s a good thing. Your relationship with your parents starts to shift since you have more freedom and independence. Depending on your specific situation, there are a couple of options.
If you have a full-time job with health benefits, you can move to that insurance. As a full-time student, your college may provide a health insurance option. If you have limited income, you may qualify for Medicaid. If none of these match your situation, look for group health insurance from a health care marketplace.
Navigating the Health Care Marketplace
Most states have individual marketplaces similar to the ones with federal guidelines. There’s an enrollment period at the end of the year to get on the best plan for you. If everything goes as it should, you can transition the coverage in the next couple of months.
You should know the date you lose access to your parents’ insurance. This allows you to prepare and take the necessary steps to get your health care in line as the date occurs. Planning and searching for your health care plan on a health care marketplace before the time comes will cause less stress in the end.
You can get different types of plans such as Catastrophic, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Depending on your specific needs, you should decide what is best for you. The plans have different coverages, copays, deductibles and monthly premium costs. Your income and finances may also allow you to qualify for tax credits, which will help reduce the overall cost of insurance. Be sure to consider each option to find what suits your situation.
Embrace the Next Step in Adulthood
Although this might not be the most exciting time in your adulthood, it still signifies the next step to being fully independent. Being prepared is the best way to navigate a new insurance journey.
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