June 04, 2020

Calling all graduates: You have health insurance options

Graduation is an important milestone. As you embark on the next phase of your life, it’s also important to have health insurance to protect you from unexpected medical costs.

Image: Affordable health coverage for college grads

Why bother with health insurance

  • Nobody plans to get sick or hurt, but bad things happen, even to healthy, young people. Treating a broken leg can cost $7,500, and a 3-day hospital stay can total $30,000. That’s a lot of money, especially when you’re just starting out!
  • Applying for Marketplace coverage may be faster and easier than you think. With one application, you’ll find out if you’re eligible for a health plan with savings based on your income. You may qualify for free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid.
  • Note: If someone claims you as a tax dependent, you can buy a plan through the Marketplace, but you won't qualify for savings based on your income.

How to get affordable health coverage

If you’re under 30, you can get health coverage a few different ways, some designed specifically for you.

  • If you’re under 26, you may be able to enroll on a parent’s health insurance plan.
  • You can buy your own Marketplace plan at HealthCare.gov. Depending on your situation, you may be eligible for savings based on your income.
    • If your student health plan is ending, you’re moving to a new state, or you experience other life changes, you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period to enroll in Marketplace insurance for the rest of 2020.
    • This means you don’t have to wait until the next Open Enrollment Period this fall to apply for 2021 coverage.
    • See if you're eligible to apply right away.

Get more information on health insurance options for young adults.