The 26th birthday for young adults means losing the health insurance provided by their parents. This can be scary because it is the first time that these adults are force to find health insurance on or off the marketplace. First time applicants without medical coverage offered through their job often face high premiums and deductibles from their health insurance.
The 26th birthday can be daunting in the health insurance marketplace because it is the first time these young adults are forced to get their own health insurance. This gives young people several different options within the healthcare industry, all with different amounts of coverage, premiums, and deductibles.
The first of these options is long-term marketplace health insurance offered via the special enrollment period. The special enrollment period is the time during the year that is not the open enrollment period of November 1st through December 15th. To qualify for health insurance in the marketplace through the special enrollment period, young adults must have experienced a qualifying life event. Luckily, turning 26 counts as one of these qualifying events for special enrollment. These plans often offer the best coverage option for adults that plan on keeping their current job for the foreseeable future because of their lower deductibles and larger range of coverage. However, sometimes the cost of these medical plans can be too great for those just turning 26 because of their high premiums. These premiums tend to be higher than the premiums offered through short-term healthcare plans.
Another health insurance option for those who have just celebrated their 26 birthdays is to sign up for short-term health insurance coverage. Enrollment in short-term health insurance does not require a qualifying life event like enrollment in a long-term plan does. The problem with these plans is that they do not offer the same coverage that the longer-term health insurance plans offer. While they do offer premiums that are more affordable for these new 26-year-olds than the premiums of long-term health insurance, they often have deductibles that are so high that the policy holders never reap the benefits that the plans hold. Those that are looking for extensive coverage without deductibles that are sky high should avoid short-term health insurance, even with the low premiums.
Besides the marketplace coverage plans available to be purchased, 26-year-olds also can apply for insurance through their employer. This option requires the same special enrollment period as marketplace coverage plans but can often offer the most medical benefits. These healthcare plans also usually cost less than marketplace insurance. The premiums offered through these plans are often much lower than the premiums that 26-year-olds are required to pay from marketplace plans. They also have much lower deductibles. However, the issue with these plans is that many jobs do not offer health insurance coverage.
For the 26-year-olds that do not have a job or fall well below the poverty level, Medicaid offers another option for healthcare coverage for those that cannot afford the cost of other healthcare. Those that qualify for Medicaid do not need to premiums and may not have a deductible. The problem with Medicaid plans is that it does not offer the extensive coverage that many 26-year-olds are looking for. It also is very hard for 26-year-olds to qualify for because the income threshold is well below the poverty level. This means that young adults usually have to look elsewhere for coverage.