In the United States, healthcare is a topic that is consistently on the tongues of legislators, and yet somehow, it’s still not discussed enough – especially when it comes to young adults (aged 18-24). In fact, young adults make up the segment of the American population that is most likely to be uninsured due to losing coverage once they’re off their parents’ plans. According to the 2007 bureau, nearly 8 million young adults went without health insurance – that’s 28% of that age group’s population.
So what exactly are a young adult’s options for health insurance? Not every workplace offers it to new employees, but that doesn’t leave you high and dry. You do have options, in part due to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
Did You Know: The Age of Dependency has been Extended
Many young adults aren’t aware that they can still be insured as a dependent on their parents’ healthcare plans after they turn eighteen. Due to the Affordable Care Act, you can still be listed as a dependent until you’re 26 years old if you don’t get job-based coverage. This buys you a little extra time to get settled into a career and get job-based coverage or find an independent plan.
For Young Adults with Limited Income
If you don’t have health insurance because you can’t afford it, 2014 may be your year. Starting next year, unemployed adults with limited income may be eligible for free health insurance through Medicaid.
Buying Insurance Independently
It may become your only option if your parents don’t have health insurance and you’re self-employed, unemployed, or new to the workforce. Buying health insurance, if you can afford it, is sometimes a necessity – though it might be a bit expensive, an uninsured trip to the hospital is even more expensive. It’s all about shopping smart. Remember that a lower premium, though it may appear to be more desirable, usually offers less comprehensive coverage or a very steep copay. Try using sites that offer health insurance quotes, like this one for Anthem Blue Cross of California, while also having thorough information about the coverage, and choose the best option.
What Else you should Know…
Remember that if you buy a short-term plan just to last you until you get a better one, it will likely be expensive and have limited coverage, so only do so if necessary. If you’re newly married, don’t forget about maternity coverage – this is something newlyweds often forget! And finally, there are many new changes coming in 2014 that will benefit the unemployed and low-income workers.