What does health care reform mean for young adults?
Who is this for?
If you’re a young adult, this information explains how health care reform will make it easier for you to get health insurance.
If you’re age 19 to 25, you probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about health insurance. You might not even have it. You don’t have to explain why—we all know insurance isn’t very exciting. But it’s important. And getting coverage might be easier than you think.
If you're 19 to 25 years old
You can get coverage through your parents’ health care plan, as long as their plan covers dependents. You can stay on their plan until you’re 26, even if you’re:
- Not living with your parents
- Attending school or not
- Not financially dependent on your parents
- Eligible for your employer’s health insurance plan
Here are a few more things you need to know:
- Health insurance companies have to notify your parents in writing of a special enrollment period. During this time, your parents can enroll you in their plan so you’re covered.
- This coverage doesn't extend to your spouse or children.
- Your parents might have what’s called a “grandfathered” health insurance plan. A grandfathered plan is one that existed on or before March 23, 2010. Since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the official name for health care reform) was signed into law on that date, grandfathered plans don’t need to comply with some parts of the law. For example, grandfathered plans don’t have to cover dependents who are eligible for group coverage through their employers.
What does that mean for you?
As of Jan. 1, 2014, you could still be covered by your parent’s plan, even if your parent’s plan is grandfathered.
If you're 26 years old, or will be soon
If you stay on your parents’ plan, you won’t have to worry about getting yourself covered until you’re 26. After that, if you don't have employer-sponsored insurance, you can get your own policy. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan offers great individual plans, designed especially for you.
If you’re interested in shopping around for your health insurance, you’ll have a couple of ways to do that in the future.
- In October 2013, you’ll be able to shop for your coverage through a competitive online marketplace called the Exchange. It will probably look a lot like a travel website where you can compare flights, hotels and trips—only you’ll be able to compare health insurance plans.
- If you don’t shop on the Exchange, you can shop online for insurance plans direct from a health insurance company, like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
If you’d like to learn more about health care reform in general and what it means for you, check out our health care reform page.