What happens when you turn 26 and you’ve been covered by your parents’ insurance? Whether you are covered by a group plan or an individual product, you need to know what to do.
There’s a couple of different scenarios that could exist at that time. First, if you’ve been covered by group insurance and your birthday is in the middle of the month, you will typically be covered through the end of that month. Then you have to obtain some new coverage.
If you’ve been covered under a group plan, then you can get coverage under COBRA, which is the right given to somebody when they come off a health insurance plan due to a qualifying event such as turning 26. You can maintain COBRA coverage for 18 months. It’s the same exact plan you’ve always been on. There’s nothing different. The only thing is that you’re paying 100% of the premium.
Will COBRA Provide Your Best Health Insurance Coverage?
When I’m working with you to ensure you are covered, I will take your COBRA plan and compare it to what I could get you under the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare). Whether or not you can get a better deal under the ACA really depends on your income.
Let’s just say you’re a 26-year-old starting out, making $21,000 or $22,000 per year. The Affordable Care Act is going to have an extremely low premium because you will qualify for a good subsidy.
But if your income is below that number, then the COBRA might be your best chance or your only choice. Also, if you have pre-existing conditions and you need a full network, then a COBRA extension of your group insurance could be the best choice.
For Those Covered by Individual Health Insurance Plans
If you’ve been covered by an individual health insurance plan, COBRA is not an option. Then you’ve got to get coverage under the Affordable Care Act. At MBhealth, we work with our clients and study those two options pretty closely to make sure that each client is making the right decision.
Your First Health Insurance: Getting it Right
Getting your own health insurance is a big step for someone. You’re out there on your own, you’re turning 26. Health insurance is one of those big pieces of the puzzle that you’ve got to be concerned about.
When should you plan for something like that? In my opinion, the sooner the better. Is that six months prior to your birthday? Three months prior to your birthday? That’s about when you should start to investigate what your options could look like.
That doesn’t mean if you call me and you’re closer to your birthday that I can’t help you. It just means that if you call me shortly before your birthday we have to work more quickly and be more responsive to your needs to get you covered.
You Don’t Have to Go it Alone
At this time of your life, you don’t have to try to choose the best health insurance alone. There’s a lot that must be done in a very short period of time to make the right choice when you are about to lose your health insurance. Call us at (314) 544-5400 or fill out the form on our contact page to get in touch. Let us work side by side with you as you make that decision.