September 09, 2013

3 ways to get covered if you’re under 30

What am I supposed to do after I turn 26 and can no longer be covered under my parents' plan

Sooner or later, everyone needs health insurance. This is true even if you’re healthy and under 30 like Jaime and Malik.

The Health Insurance Marketplace provides you with several options that put you in control of your coverage and care.

  1. If you’re under 26, you may be able to get covered on a parent’s health insurance plan. This applies to you even if you are at school, not living at home, eligible for an employer’s plan, or not financially dependent on your parents. It even applies to you if you are married.
  1. On your 26th birthday, your coverage on a parent’s plan ends. But you can still use the Health Insurance Marketplace to compare health insurance plans based on what’s important to you. When you apply for coverage in the Marketplace, you'll find out if you can get lower costs on your monthly premium and if you qualify for lower out-of-pocket costs. You’ll also find out if you qualify for free or low-cost coverage available through Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

  2. If you’re under 30, you may be able to buy a special kind of health insurance plan that protects you from very high medical costs. These “catastrophic” plans usually have lower premiums and protect you from worst-case scenarios. In the Marketplace, catastrophic plans cover 3 doctor visits per year at no cost and free preventive benefits.

Are you looking forward to getting covered in 2014? Open enrollment begins on October 1, 2013 and coverage can start as soon as January 1.