Under 26? Youve got health insurance options | Blue Cross Blue Shield

If you’re a young adult with questions about health insurance, you’re not alone.

As a member of the highmark blue cross blue shield social media team, I have to admit that I am more knowledgeable about health care than most people my age (23, if you ask). But it wasn’t that long ago that I knew next to nothing about health insurance. it was easy to stay in the dark because I was on my parents’ health plan and didn’t have to worry about it.

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  • then I graduated from university. I moved to Pittsburgh, got a job, and my parents started asking me about my company’s benefits plan. I took the hint; it was time to make my own health insurance choices.

    Reading: How does an 18 year old get health insurance

    For me, it was a pretty easy decision; I work for a health insurance company that offers affordable coverage. But it made me think a lot about my friends whose part-time jobs, full-time education, and job searches don’t make their health insurance choices so easy, even though we’re all about the same age. . Having become a bit of a health care nerd myself, I started asking them what they were doing about their health insurance and if there was anything they weren’t “getting”. And despite the general awkwardness of going from a conversation about soccer to one about health insurance, it turned out that a lot of my friends had questions.

    So if you’re like them and aren’t quite sure what to do, or even what you can do, about your health insurance, here’s the good news: You have options. here they are, in no particular order.

    Option 1: Stay on your parents’ health insurance plan

    Under the Affordable Care Act, young adults can choose to stay on their parent’s health insurance plan until they turn 26, with no ifs and buts. That means you can stay on your parent’s plan whether:

    • live with your parents
    • are claimed as dependents on their parents’ taxes
    • have a full-time job
    • are eligible to enroll in their employer’s health plan
    • attend school
    • are married
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      For some, this is ideal, as plans that cover families can be less expensive per person than individual plans. others, in their quest for independence, choose to buy their own insurance before they turn 26 (I’m guilty of that). If you stay on your parents’ plan, you may want to help them out and take the financial responsibility of paying for your own health insurance. you can work out a system with them to pay your share of the monthly premium and your share of copays and costs toward your family’s deductible.

      Option 2: Enroll in a student health insurance plan

      If you attend a college or university, you may be able to enroll in that school’s student health plan. These plans tend to be relatively inexpensive and are a good option if your parents don’t have health insurance or if you don’t want to stay in your plan. Find out if your school offers health insurance options by checking their website or calling the financial aid office.

      Option 3: Enroll in your employer’s health plan

      You don’t have to wait until age 26 to enroll in one of the health insurance plans offered by your employer. Depending on where you live and what you can afford, coverage offered by your employer may be a better fit for you than your parent’s insurance plan. If your employer offers coverage, it’s a good idea to at least look at what they offer and compare it to your current plan. For what it’s worth, even though you may have to pay a little more each month than before, it feels great to pay for your own health care coverage. I know, it sounds crazy, but it’s true. plus, it’ll save your parents some money, an angle you can easily redeem for brownie points.

      option 4: choose a plan from your local bcbs company or on the insurance market

      if your employer or school doesn’t offer insurance, you can choose your own individual health insurance plan by contacting your local bcbs company or online from the health care marketplace. open enrollment runs from November 1, 2016 through January 31, 2017 this year.

      You may also qualify for a special enrollment period as a result of certain life events, such as:

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