by Brooke Jarchow
Recent graduates face many challenges as they enter the real world, including looking for their first jobs and moving out of their parents’ homes. So, while recent college graduates don’t need additional responsibilities, there’s one more thing all of them should focus on: getting health insurance.
While having health insurance may not seem like a high priority, it could protect you financially in the event of an accident or unexpected illness. Additionally, having health insurance allows you to get preventive care, like contraceptives for little to no cost.
Luckily, young adults graduating from school have options. But if you have multiple health plan options, which one should you choose? While there’s no universal solution for everyone, we outline helpful guidelines below.
Stay on your parent’s plan
Under the Affordable Care Act, you can stay on your parents’ plan until age 26 and receive all of the plan’s benefits. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey in 2015, this was the most common type of coverage for young adults.
Get coverage through your employer
Employer-sponsored plans are another common type of coverage for young adults. One benefit of choosing employer-sponsored coverage rather than staying on your parents’ plan includes privacy. If you stay on your parents’ plan, the policyholders typically receive insurance notices that may describe your medical care and treatments you received. If you prefer this information be kept private, electing a plan through your employer may be the right choice for you. Another benefit of employer-sponsored coverage over your parents’ plan is that there might be a higher likelihood of finding doctors and hospitals nearby that are in your plan’s provider network. If you moved to a new state, it could be difficult to find doctors in your parents’ network.
If you are not on your parents’ plan and employer-sponsored coverage isn’t an option, you can consider the Marketplace. You can shop for different types of coverage during Open Enrollment or if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
There is also the possibility that you qualify for Medicaid. If you don’t have a job or if you earn a certain level of income, you could qualify for Medicaid, which provides comprehensive coverage at lower costs. In addition, there’s no Open Enrollment period for Medicaid.
We recognize that every situation is different and are prepared to help you find the coverage you need. If you have questions or if you would like more information about which type of coverage is right for you, visit gohealth.com or call (888) 322-7557 to speak with a licensed agent today.