Posted on: 30 November 2022
Are you a new college grad or a young adult who is shopping for health insurance plans? If this is your first experience with insurance, take a look at what you need to know about coverage, policies, premiums, and your options.
Can You Stay On Your Parents' Plan?
Now that you're an independent adult, do you need to choose a new insurance plan? Even though some college grads and young adults do have their own coverage, others elect to stay on their parents' policy.
According to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, adults under age 26 can remain on their parents' employer-sponsored plan. Adult children of parents who have a Marketplace plan (private pay insurance) can usually stay on the policy through December 31 of their 26th birthday year. This means if you turn 26 in May, you can stay on your parents' insurance until New Year's Eve day of the same year. Some states may have other age restrictions.
Why Would You Get Your Own Plan?
There's no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Some recent college grads and young adults who are working choose to stay on their parents' plan. If you meet your state's requirements to remain on your family's existing coverage, the premiums are low, the deductibles are low, and you're satisfied with the coverage, you may not necessarily need to switch. But if you don't qualify to stay on your parents' insurance, your family doesn't have coverage, or the plan is expensive, you will need your own policy.
What Type of Plan Should You Choose?
Healthcare plans are not all the same. If your employer offers insurance, you may not have many (or any) options. But if you want to select a Marketplace plan (private insurance), you will have choices.
These choices include:
- The insurance company. Private insurance companies sell plans on the Marketplace. Some insurers have agreements with specific hospitals, healthcare networks, or doctors. You may need to switch providers if your existing doctor is now out of network.
- The premium. The premium is the monthly price you pay for health insurance. This amount varies per plan and is typically tied to the deductible.
- The deductible. This is the amount that you will pay (out of pocket) before the plan covers your medical expenses. A higher deductible plan may have a lower monthly premium—and vice-versa.
The premium and deductible aren't the only insurance-related expenses you may need to pay. Before you select a plan, you may also want to ask the insurance provider about the other expected out-of-pocket costs. These could include co-insurance and copays for doctor's visits, specialists, hospital stays, physical therapy, or other healthcare services.Share