Congrats, graduates! Whether you’re heading into the working world or planning your next move, you have options for affordable health insurance that works for your life and your budget.
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Under 30? Just answer a few quick questions to get a personalized guide that’ll help you make a good coverage decision.
3 health insurance options
You may get insurance from your job, but if you don’t, you still have options for health coverage:
- Under 26? Stay or get covered on a parent’s health insurance plan
- You may be able to get added to or stay covered under a parent’s health insurance plan until you turn 26 — even if you’re married, not living at home, financially independent, or have an offer of insurance through a job.
- Buy your own health insurance plan
- You may be able to buy your own plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace. If you’re just starting out and not making much money, you’ll probably qualify for savings — which may make your monthly health insurance bill less than your cell phone bill.
- You also can choose a “Catastrophic” health plan — an affordable way to protect yourself from worst-case scenarios.
- Outside the yearly Open Enrollment Period, you can enroll only if you have a life change that qualifies you for a Special Enrollment Period. Turning 26 and dropping off a parent’s insurance plan, losing health insurance for any other reason, getting married, or having a baby are just a few changes that let you enroll in the off-season.
- See if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
- Get coverage through Medicaid or CHIP
- In some states, Medicaid covers all adults below a certain income level. If you qualify, you can enroll any time. See if this applies to your income and your state.
- In all states, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provide health coverage for some individuals, families and children, pregnant women, and people with disabilities.
Important: If you don’t have any health coverage you may have to pay a penalty. There’s no special exception for age or student status.