If you’re a new graduate who is having trouble finding a job with benefits, you may be thinking that you can always fall back on your parent’s health insurance. Well, that’s partly true. The Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) lets you stay on a parent’s health insurance until you’re 26 years old unless you have access to health insurance through your own employer’s group health insurance. With jobs offering benefits in way short supply these days, it’s estimated that millions of young adults have gotten their health insurance through their parents’ health insurance since this option first became available.
However, that doesn’t mean that you can always fall back on your parents for health insurance. If you’re going to go this route, you only have 30 days to join your parent’s health insurance after you leave your college health insurance. If you miss this deadline, all if not lost, but you will have to wait until open enrollment to join your parent’s health insurance. Open enrollment usually doesn’t happen until late fall or winter, so you would be risking a gap of five or six months without health insurance if you miss the deadline.
Even if you’re thinking of joining your parent’s health insurance, do keep in mind that it’s not necessarily your best option for health insurance. If you live all the way across the country from your parents, their health insurance may not be all that useful to you if you have a medical issue. And if you’re young and healthy, you may be able to get more affordable health insurance that better suits your needs anyway.
Are you joining your parent’s health insurance after graduation? Tell us about it in our discussion forum!
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