Why Your College Grad Doesn’t Need To Buy Health Insurance

Invincible. That’s what it feels like to be a twenty-something.

Poor. That’s also what it feels like to be a twenty-something without a job after college.

Invincible-Feeling + Poor = Millions of young adults unlikely to buy health insurance.

Not buying health insurance seems like a good way to save money… that is, until an arm gets broken or Swine Flu makes a comeback. Without insurance, a little mishap like a twisted ankle could mean thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket medical expenses.

So what’s an unemployed college grad to do? Better yet, what can a parent do to help protect your child? You know your college grad needs insurance. And you’ll rest better knowing that your son or daughter is covered if the worst does happens.

If you’re a parent of a recent grad that doesn’t have a job or can’t afford insurance, you’re in luck.

Health Insurance Until Age 26

The Affordable Care Act allows your child to be covered under your own health insurance up to age 26. That means your college grad can get the protection he needs, even without a job that provides benefits.

And it doesn’t just apply to live-at-home, unemployed college graduates. Your children can join or remain on your plan even if they are:

  1. married
  2. not living with you
  3. attending school
  4. not financially dependent on you
  5. eligible to enroll in their employer’s plan

Even If Your Child Has a Job With Health Insurance…

If your college grad is happily employed with a great benefits package, congratulations! However, you still have the option of covering your child on your own plan.

Research the cost of covering your child on your insurance plan with the plan offered by your son or daughter’s company. You could save your grad a few hundred dollars a month by comparing plans.

Health Insurance for All?

In the past two years, despite the recession, the number of twentysomethings without health insurance has decreased. The administration gives credit to the Affordable Health Care Act for these numbers. But as you probably know, the Supreme Court is deciding whether or not “Obamacare” is a constitutional mandate, and predictions are split as to whether or not the healthcare mandate will be upheld. [Update: As of 10 a.m. this morning, Obamacare has survived the Supreme Court ruling. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a threat of it disappearing.]

What does it mean? The benefit of covering your child on your own health insurance until age 26 could change – if not now, then perhaps after the 2012 elections or on a state-by-state basis.

Whatever happens in the next few months, take advantage of this opportunity now to protect your child with minimal cost.

Do you have any tips for helping your child save money after graduation? Did you do anything after college to save money while you looked for a job? Let me know on Twitter or Facebook, or in the comments below!

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