Graduating college is an exciting accomplishment filled with celebration. However, the transition out of college can also be daunting with the weight of decisions and navigating uncharted territories. Graduates are faced with searching for a new job and all the things that come along with that – perhaps a new city and a new community. Finding the right insurance is another thing to add to the list of things to navigate after graduation. So, for all of the graduates out there who don’t know where to begin on finding the right coverage, here is some input into familiar the vast world of insurance.
First, try not giving out information to multiple websites. No doubt, if personal information is given out to many websites there will be an overwhelming amount of phone calls received. Talk to a company/someone trustworthy that can be a median and give educated advice on the direction that would be the best personal fit.
Here are some post-graduation insurance options:
1. Stay On Parents’ Insurance
By law, young adults are able to stay on their parents’ insurance until the age of 26. There are no strings attached to this. The young-adult being covered can decide whether or not to live with their parents, have a job, attend school, or be married. This option will also give graduates some extra time getting things together and getting their feet on the ground.
2. Accept a Job With Health Benefits
Let’s face it - this is the option that most post-graduates try to shoot for. If a post-graduate has multiple job offers on the table, it is important to look at the jobs’ benefits when deciding which route to take. Most companies will offer group-term insurance, although other types are offered.
3. Purchase a Short-term plan
Short-term plans can be a good temporary option for those who need to be covered for a gap of time between graduation and figuring out what is next. This may even be a good consideration for those who have a job lined up, as it can take time for insurance benefits to kick in.
Short-term plans can last up to 364 days and can be renewed up to 3 years. However, this can change depending on the state’s policy. Some places restrict short-term plans to only 3 months. It is also important to note that short term plans do not cover pre-existing conditions and are not obligated to cover essential health benefits (ie, mental health care, prescription drugs, maternity care). There is also no guarantee that short-term plans will be issued. Lastly, they are more expensive than traditional health care plans, but they may be a good substitute for specific situations.
Short-term plans may also be purchased at any time of the year and can be effective immediately.
4. Purchase an ACA-Compliant Individual Plan
An ACA-compliant plan covers pre-existing conditions as well as offers essential health benefits. ACA-compliant plans are especially a good option for those who get an entry-level job that does not offer health benefits. These plans are available in every state. Subside and cost-sharing reductions are available to make coverage more affordable. This plan is only open during the enrollment period unless the applicant has a qualification that allows them to apply outside of enrollment.
5. View Medicaid Qualifications
Medicaid covers 1 in 5 Americans and covers people in diverse populations and various life stages. Medicaid provides free or low-cost health coverage to people with low-incomes. Some states have even expanded their Medicaid policy to expand to all people below a certain income level. Check the state qualifications to see if Medicaid is a good fit.