6 tips to help young people find health insurance
Today's graduates may not find a job, but they should find it easier to be insured.
Just graduating from high school or college and don't have health insurance? You're not alone. Almost one-third of Americans under 26 lack health insurance, the largest group in the U.S., Uncle Sam estimates.
But here's some good news: Things may be looking up. Check out the following news story, then get additional advice on the other side.
Now, here's more specific advice on how to get health insurance:
- Stay on your parents' policy. The federal health care reform law requires insurance companies to allow parents to keep their children on their policies up to age 26, effective Sept. 23. Some companies are already doing so. For the first time, you won't have to be enrolled in school to stay on the policy once you hit 18. There are a few important exceptions: If your workplace offers insurance, you have to take that policy, even if it's not as good as your parents'. If your parents are on Medicare, you are out of luck. Finally, you have to be extra nice to Mom and Dad: They are not required to add their adult children to their policies. They must want to -- and submit paperwork to their insurer.
- Bing:Fight a claim denial
- Get a job with a company that provides coverage.Large companies are the most likely to offer health care coverage to employees. But some small companies that have mostly young employees also offer insurance, in some cases even for part-time employees.
- Buy individual insurance. If you're healthy, you may be able to get individual health insurance for as little as $25 a month. You can do a search at the Money Talks News insurance page. Websites such as Vimo.com and ehealthinsurance also provide links to policies from major companies, such as Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield. You can also buy individual policies from insurance brokers. Young people typically have the cheapest rates because they tend to be healthier and have fewer chronic illnesses.
- Go back to school. At many schools, you don't have to be a full-time student to get access to the campus health clinic and student insurance policies. You don't have to be young, either. In April the American College Health Association reported that it was working to preserve quality health care and coverage for students. You can check out our previous story on shortcomings in some student health plans.
- See if you qualify for Medicaid or state programs for low-income residents. If you are unemployed or in a low-paying job, you may be eligible for Medicaid. Each state has its own qualifications.
- Visit a community health clinic. These clinics, which offer free or low-cost care to low-income uninsured residents, have been expanding and their numbers are expected to double nationwide under health care reform. You can find a clinic in your area on this list.
If you're wondering when other parts of health insurance reform will take effect, read our story on the timetable.
Copyright © 2013 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
Editor Bev O'Shea lives and works in the foothills of the Appalachians. A former copy editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Orlando Sentinel, she joined MSN Money in 2007. She's a fan of sunsets, college football and free shipping, among other things.
Having worked as a writer, reporter and editor for more than 25 years, Editor Julie Tilsner is the sort of person who can't help but correct grammar in Facebook postings and on billboards. She's written for BusinessWeek, the Los Angeles Times, Parenting, Redbook, AOL and others. She lives in Los Angeles County with her family and loves to drink wine and practice yoga, although not generally at the same time.
A writer for MSN Money since January 2007, Donna Freedman won regional and national prizes during an 18-year newspaper career and earned a college degree in midlife without taking out student loans. She also writes about smart money tactics for magazines and on her own site, Surviving and Thriving.
Mitch Lipka has been warning people about scams and shining light on questionable business practices for more than 20 years. Mitch, the consumer columnist for The Boston Globe, has also been a reporter and editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer, Consumer Reports, South Florida Sun-Sentinel and AOL. He won the 2010 New York Press Club award for best consumer reporting online and was honored in 2011 for his reporting on child product safety.
Marilyn Lewis is an award-winning writer with a passion for getting readers clear, straight information that helps them stay out of financial trouble. A former reporter for The San Jose Mercury News, she works from her home in Port Townsend, Wash. Contact her at MarilynLewis@Outlook.com.
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Those shackled with student loan debt are increasingly being targeted by scams and shady companies promising relief.