What College Graduates Need to Know About Health Insurance

For recent college graduates, this is a very exciting time. You’ve just left school, possibly moved out of your parents’ house, and are starting to figure things out for yourselves. Some people this age tend to think that they don’t need health insurance because they are young and healthy, but the truth is that having health insurance is a very good idea, especially for this age group.

Young people are often accident prone, and the financial risk of going without health insurance is high. The out-of-pocket cost of accidents can be staggering.

So, if you’re graduating from school, it’s important to figure out if an insurance plan is right for you. Luckily, graduates have several different options. Because of this, make sure you always speak to an agent when deciding. An insurance agent’s job is to advise and sell insurance to customers, so they will help you to figure out what works best for you. Whatever situation you may be in after graduation, there’s a solution for you:

If you’re graduating and starting a job:

Currently, young adults are eligible to stay under their parent’s health insurance plans until they’re 26. This allows for graduates to have time to figure things out before committing to a health plan. Check with your parents to see if they have a policy you are covered under. If you’re moving away from home after graduation, you may find that your parent’s plan doesn’t cover many doctors in your new area, so consider one of the plans below.

Another option is the health insurance plan provided by your employer. Check with your employer to see if health insurance is included among your benefits. However, what you may not realize upon deciding to take this route is that it can take a while to kick in. In order to cover the time before it does, Short-Term Medical Insurance may be the way to go. Short-Term Medical provides up to 6 months of coverage specifically for times like these, and in some states can cover you for even longer stretches. Other health plans are too expensive for such a short amount of time, and Short-Term Medical will still provide protection from the high medical costs associated with accidents or illness.

If you don’t have access to either your parents’ health plans or an employee’s plan, consider an individual plan and talk to an agent to find a good fit for you. And individual plan will give you more comprehensive coverage than Short-Term Medical insurance.

If you’re in grad school:

If you are under 26, you may still be eligible under your parents’ plan, but if that is not available to you, you may want to find another option, especially if you aren’t working at a place that offers health insurance to employees. Check your school’s policies and if they offer a health care plan to students (some schools may even require you to have health insurance, so be sure to double check!). A school health plan often costs less than individual health care plans, so speak to people in your school to find out what is available.

If you don’t know what you’re doing:

Again, you can always stay on your parent’s plan if you’re the right age. A good option for those completely unsure of what they’re going to do or who are currently looking for a job is Short-Term Medical Insurance. This way, you’re insured for the transition period between college and your first real job, or whatever it is you move onto next.

With several options like staying on your parent’s plan, choosing a school plan, joining an individual plan or choosing Short-Term Medical for temporary coverage, there are many ways to help protect yourself from high medical costs after graduation.