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Best Healthcare Plans for Young Adults

Meredith Miller | Published: June 14, 2018

Young adults smiling

Did you just make your way into the real world only to find out "adulting" is way more expensive than you thought? If you did, don't worry, you're not alone. There are millions of young Americans who are discovering first hand the expensive side of living on your own, and expensive health insurance plans don't help the cause. Fortunately, there are plenty of health plans to choose from for young adults. From employer-sponsored health coverage to temporary insurance plans, let’s explore what you may qualify for.

1. Employer-Sponsored Healthcare

If you’re a young adult who works full-time you may have health coverage through your workplace. Although this is a big plus for employees since employers pay a portion of the premium, you may have better options out there to choose from instead. Employers typically try to cut costs, so your options may be limited. Try exploring the different health insurance plans in your area outside the health insurance marketplace.

2. Stay on Your Parent's Plan

Young adults that are 26 years of age or younger can stay on their parent's health insurance plan until they turn of age, regardless of their dependent, financial, or marital status. In fact, adult children don’t even need to live in the same home to be covered by their parent’s healthcare plan. However, when deciding whether or not to go with this plan, consider what providers and clinics you would be using. If you stay on your parent's health insurance plan, you may not be able to find a healthcare provider in your area who accepts your coverage.

3. The Health Insurance Marketplace

Young adults that don’t want to use either their parent’s or employer’s health plans can shop around for state or federal-based insurance quotes on the Health Insurance Marketplace. Additionally, those who are marked as dependents on their tax returns and have an income of 100% to 400% of the federal poverty line might have premium tax credits waiting for them. If you are younger than 30 years of age, you may be able to purchase a catastrophic plan from insurance companies. This form of healthcare coverage means you’ll pay reduced monthly premiums and have higher deductibles than you would with an individual insurance plan.

4. Non-Exchange Healthcare

Young adults that don’t qualify for premium tax credits or other subsidies and do not want to use the Health Insurance Marketplace can purchase their own individual plan from a private marketplace. Be sure to check online quotes from insurance providers first. Keep in mind that your individual insurance plan has to fulfill the requirements mandated by the Affordable Care Act. This means that your plan has to provide specific preventive care benefits and held to the same standards as plans being sold through the Health Insurance Marketplace. You can purchase non-exchange healthcare straight from insurance companies, agents, and brokers, or compare options in your area with First Quote Health.

5. Student Healthcare Coverage

If you are still enrolled in school, check with your college or university to see if they offer individual insurance coverage to their students. This can be a good option for young people who attend school in a state other than the one where their parents live. You can avoid high out of network charges for medical care, visit doctors locally, and maybe even pay lower monthly premiums.

However, before enrolling, ensure that the insurance policy meets the requirements set by the ACA. These plans do not qualify for cost-sharing subsidies or premium tax credits. You should also be aware that, even if your university offers individual insurance, this does not mean that you must enroll. If you already have insurance coverage or could save money with another option, you can still use that coverage.

6. You May Qualify for Medicaid

A lot of states in the US have expanded their Medicaid programs, which means you may be able to take advantage of it. This government program offers free or low-cost health insurance to residents whose income falls below a certain line. In order to be eligible for this program, adults who are younger than 65 must make below a certain amount every year. You can determine if you are eligible for Medicaid when you apply for coverage through the ACA marketplace.

7. Temporary Insurance Plans

Temporary (or short-term) health plans offer a low-cost solution for those who need it most. These insurance plans do not provide essential benefits. They can, however, be helpful for those suffering from unexpected illnesses and accidents. This type of plan provides coverage for inpatient and outpatient hospital care, as well as emergency room visits and more.

Unfortunately, temporary plans do not meet the requirements set forth by the ACA so you will still be subject to paying tax penalties. Additionally, your coverage may be denied based on your medical history. This policy can be used for any length of time from 30 to 364 days, according to your needs and your state’s regulations. A short-term plan is not usually recommended for young people unless they:

  • Missed open enrollment and would still like healthcare coverage.
  • Just turned 26 and cannot be on their parent’s plan anymore.
  • Just lost their job.
  • Got divorced recently and do not have access to their partner’s insurance anymore.

Which Health Plan is Best for Young Adults?

There are many factors that contribute to which option is best for a person. There is not one solution that will meet everybody's needs. It all depends on the benefits your needs, insurance quotes, in-network doctors, and special government programs. When you take all these factors into consideration, you can find the best health insurance plan for your needs. Visit First Quote Health for easy online quotes from insurance providers in your area.