Graduating? You have health insurance options

Published on May 19, 2016

Congrats, graduates! Whether you’re heading into the working world or planning your next move, you have options for affordable health insurance that works for your life and your budget.
Image: {Graduate holding sign saying he has young adult health insurance coverage}Image: {Graduate holding sign saying he has young adult health insurance coverage}

Find your best options fast

Under 30? Just answer a few quick questions to get a personalized guide that’ll help you make a good coverage decision.

3 health insurance options

You may get insurance from your job, but if you don’t, you still have options for health coverage:
  • Under 26? Stay or get covered on a parent’s health insurance plan
  • Buy your own health insurance plan
    • You may be able to buy your own plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace®. If you’re just starting out and not making much money, you’ll probably qualify for savings — which may make your monthly health insurance bill less than your cell phone bill.
    • You also can choose a "Catastrophic" health plan — an affordable way to protect yourself from worst-case scenarios.
    • Outside the yearly
      Open Enrollment Period
      , you can enroll only if you have a life change that qualifies you for a
      Special Enrollment Period
      . Turning 26 and dropping off a parent’s insurance plan, losing health insurance for any other reason, getting married, or having a baby are just a few changes that let you enroll in the off-season.
    • See if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
  • Get coverage through Medicaid or CHIP
Important: If you don’t have any health coverage you may have to pay a penalty. There’s no special exception for age or student status.