Just Turned 26? What to Do When You’re off Your Parents’ Insurance

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, young adults can stay on their parent’s insurance plans until they are 26. However, once they reach that age, they still have many options available to them as it relates to getting coverage. What are some ideas for those aged 26 or older to get the health insurance that they need?

Just Turned 26? What to Do When You're off Your Parents' Insurance
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Look Into Getting Care From the Government

Those who are unemployed or don’t work for a company that offers insurance may wish to look into state or federal insurance exchanges. These exchanges can be accessed online, and it only takes a few minutes to find and buy a policy. Subsidies may be available for many people depending on their income.

Ask Your Employer About Getting Health Coverage

If you do work for a company that offers health insurance, ask if you qualify for coverage. Your human resources or benefits representative may be able to work with you to find a policy that best meets your needs and budget. In some cases, your employer may pay for some or all of your premiums and other upfront costs.

Typically, though, your coverage will come in three different packages: medical, dental and vision. Some vision and dental plans will only work if you have the primary medical plan as well. However, some of them can be applied for separately if you just want vision or dental. Just make sure to ask about that if that is something that you are looking into. This way, you can go to All About Eyes or whichever other vision center that is near you if your only health issue concerns your sight and you’re not all too concerned about getting medical. Yet, medical is still a very important thing to have, and so you should only opt out if you are already on another plan that doesn’t include the coverage that you are trying to get with your company.

Contribute to a Health Savings Account Each Pay Period

A health savings account (HSA) is essentially a fund that allows you to pay for any medical expenses that you incur in a given year. The money put into the account may be tax-deductible or otherwise offer tax benefits compared to just putting the money into a typical savings account. Your employer may also match any contributions that you make in lieu of offering health insurance. Some policies may even allow you to cash out your HSA fund at a later date, and so it can basically act as an extra retirement fund. You should also know that these HSA accounts are very beneficial when it comes to your taxes.

Look for Local Clinics That Offer Free or Inexpensive Care

Local clinics or university hospitals are staffed with volunteers or medical students who are supervised by a licensed professional. You get the same quality care that you would receive at a typical doctor’s office or hospital at a fraction of the price. Your doctor or other medical professionals who you need to see may also allow you to make payments for services rendered over time to make it easier to pay your bills.

If you have just turned 26, you may feel as if you can’t afford to carry quality health insurance. While you may be paying for coverage for the first time in your adult life, it is easy to find a policy that provides the services that you need without going beyond what you can afford to pay for them.

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