Young adults, which consists of anyone between the ages of 18 and 25, face a wide range of different challenges when shopping for health insurance. With the increasing cost of healthcare, more and more young adults are recognizing just how important having medical coverage is. Students and recent graduates who need routine health care, emergency services, or prescription drugs are stuck forgoing treatment or paying for treatment out-of-pocket when emergencies arise. Fortunately for young adults, there are several different ways to find affordable medical coverage. If you are shopping for coverage, it is important to know all of your options so that you can decipher which type of coverage will be most affordable for you.
Four Ways to Find Affordable Health Insurance as a Young Adult
The Affordable Care Act, which was passed and took effect in 2010, now requires employers providing group health insurance to employees to cover dependent children up until the age of 26. If you still live in your parent’s home or are claimed as a dependent, and are 25 years old or younger, you may be added to your parents’ plan for an additional premium. In most cases, if your parent has a family plan already, adding you to the policy will cost little to nothing. In some cases, if your parent does not have a family plan, the cost to cover a dependent child may be higher. Young adults who choose this option will have coverage for doctor visits, hospital stays, and dental visits.
If you are a recent graduate or a student and you are employed by a company that offers medical insurance benefits, you may be able to find more affordable group health insurance for yourself as a young adult. One great thing about either type of group insurance is that no one can be denied for pre-existing conditions and premiums do not go up based on the covered party’s health. Also, a portion of the premiums are paid for be the employer, meaning that group insurance may be a more affordable option for young adults employed by companies offering the benefit. In most cases, you must be employed full-time receive medical insurance benefits. In some cases, you may be able to receive the benefit as a part-time employee.
If you are a graduate, are self-employed, or have a job that does not offer benefits, your only option may be to purchase individual coverage through a private insurer. Individual health insurance comes in a variety of different forms, from short-term to high deductible plans. If you are purchasing your own health coverage, you need to know what to look for. Choosing a higher deductible plan will keep your monthly costs low, but may restrict which treatments you can afford because you will pay for a portion of the bill out-of-pockets. It is recommended to sit with a licensed agent or broker to compare different plans.
About 60% of colleges and universities offer college health insurance plans. Some of these plans are like individual coverage, and others are limited in the coverage provided. As of 2014, college health plans along with all plans will be required to offer preventative health services without any cost sharing. Applicants must still verify if emergency services and routine healthcare is also provided.
Having an accident or falling ill suddenly can put young adults in debt early on in life when they do not have health insurance. While the cost of insurance may seem high, the cost of living without health insurance is much higher. Compare each of these options and choose the most practical, comprehensive, and affordable health plan.