Tips on Getting Individual Health Insurance for Young Adults

Individual and Family

Tips on Getting Individual Health Insurance for Young Adults

Published on May 31, 2018

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Making rent on your own, getting your first car payment, doing taxes—sometimes the “real world” isn’t as exciting or easy as you thought it would be. This is proven by a recent eHealth survey that found that what young adults believe is fair for health insurance, is actually a fraction of the price it costs. Health insurance for young adults is a new issue to deal with, and many might be feeling lost in the process.
Luckily, eHealth makes getting health insurance easy for young adults navigating the process for the first time. We’ve compiled a list of tips on getting health insurance for young adults.

 Health insurance for young adults: college grads and beyond

Whether you’re a recent college graduate or just going out on your own for the first time, facing adulthood can seem daunting. Dealing with getting your own health insurance may be a little easier with some of the following tips:

  • If you’re moving out of state, make sure you have access to in-network doctors and health care facilities. Even if your parents have agreed to keep you on their health insurance plan, if you’re moving far away from them, it may be more financially reasonable to get your own health insurance. This is because most plans have a “network” which is a group of pre-approved health care providers and facilities that they cover to the full extend. Going “out-of-network” will likely result in higher prices out of your own pocket, and could even mean paying completely for services on your own. To avoid this, make sure you have a health insurance plan that covers providers in the area you’re moving to.
  • Know the laws that are still in effect. As a well-informed young adult, you may have heard that the tax penalty for going uninsured was repealed in 2017. Many people think this means they don’t need to have health insurance in 2018—but it’s not true. The repeal on the tax doesn’t take effect until 2019, so you still need to have health insurance for young adults up until the 2019 tax season, if you don’t won’t to face this fee associated with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Make sure you’re not part of the 75% of young adults you responded to an eHealth survey saying they weren’t well informed on the ACA—keep yourself covered when you can, and stay up to date on health care reform with our ACA timeline.
  • Understanding subsidies. Once you figure out how much you get in government subsidies to help pay for insurance premiums, it might help you make the decision between ACA-complaint major medical health insurance, or other alternatives like catastrophic or short term plans. These coverage alternatives could serve as great health insurance for young adults, because they are often more affordable and work in the favor of healthy people who will only require healthcare in the case of an emergency. For some, the subsidies they qualify may actually make major medical plan the most affordable option, so make sure you know what you qualify for before rushing to a plan with fewer benefits.                                     
  • Taking advantage of special enrollment periods. There is an annual open enrollment period, usually starting around November, where anyone can sign up for an individual health insurance plan. Outside of this, you usually cannot enroll in a self-bought plan—unless you have a qualifying life event. Some of these include getting married, having a child, moving to a new coverage area, or losing coverage (unrelated to failure to pay). You’ll usually have a window of sixty days to choose coverage.

Why it’s important to have health insurance for young adults

You may be thinking “I’m young and healthy, why waste my money on an expensive health insurance plan?”, but the truth is, a medical emergency can pop up for anyone. Additionally, preventative care is a smart move for all ages and health levels. Having the ability to see your doctor to check in with your health and wellness is one of the great advantages to having coverage that offers preventative care, so that you can catch any health issues before they even become a problem. So make sure to do your research on health insurance for young adults and get the coverage that fits your needs and budget.
The real world doesn’t need to be so scary–especially when you have a quality health insurance plan plan to cover you.

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