If you're under 26, being a rider on your parent’s insurance plan is probably the easiest option. After all, staying on their plan takes the responsibility off your plate. Depending on your situation, however, it might not be what’s best for you or your parents. Whether you’re in college or you’re a young professional, it’s important that you are fully aware of all your options – and make an educated decision on which one is best for you. Here’s what steps you can take to ensure you’ve compared all your options:
- Explore your employer-sponsored options: Not all employer-sponsored benefits are created equal. If you’re employed, look into what plans are available to you through your job. You may end up finding a plan that makes more sense for you than what you have through your parents.
- Shop on the marketplace: If you don’t have coverage options from an employer, check to see if you qualify for subsidies or financial assistance. Roughly one in four millennials (ages 18-29) do not have health insurance, despite recent studies showing that 82% of them qualify for at least one subsidy through the health care exchange. If the price is right, your choices may include an affordable marketplace option, student health plans or even Medicaid alternatives.
- Discuss your parents’ plan with them: After looking around, your best bet may still mean staying on Mom and Dad’s insurance. If that’s the case, make sure you talk with them about what they’re paying, and which costs you’re responsible for. Doing the right research and understanding your current plan will prepare you for the transition of coming off parental benefits at 26, and ensure you’re making the right choice based on your health needs and budget.
The light at the end of the tunnel should always be proper coverage. As a young adult, it’s impractical and risky not to have the right plan of attack. Do your research, ask good questions and don’t settle until you’re comfortable on an insurance track fit for your future. For more health insurance tips visit bcbsm.com/101 or follow the hashtag #Covered101 on our social channels. If you have a specific question, please submit your query online through our Customer Action Center. Photo credit: Merrimack College