Getting health coverage after graduation can be tricky, but making the right decisions can save you a lot of money.
If you’re just out of college, you are lucky if your parents are able to include you under their health care coverage. In fact, part of the health reform law allows your parents to include you in their coverage until you reach the age of 26. Fresh graduates can either take the coverage provided by their parents’ health coverage or search for ways to purchase health coverage on their own for the first time.
The first thing you would discover is that buying health coverage can be expensive and coverage features can be quite complicated. There are a few tips that can help fresh graduates sift through the tons of information they will come across in selecting the appropriate health insurance coverage for them.
The best way to have health coverage is still through your parents’ policy. You should stay on it for as long as you can, which is until you reach the age of 26. The rates of a group policy are lower and employer-provided health insurance is partially shouldered by the employer. If you have found employment before the age of 26, you should still stick to your parents’ coverage as purchasing health coverage through your own work would still cost more and deliver fewer benefits.
Another reason for asking your parents to keep you in their health coverage is because as a fresh graduate you do not expect to find a company that you will stay with for a long time. Moving from one company to another means switching health care providers and going through wait-out periods before you can enjoy full benefits over and over.
If you do not have the option to obtain coverage through your parents’ health plans, you should look for a company that offers full health benefits. There are many companies the offer health benefits even to part-time employees. There are contractual employment opportunities where you can still acquire health benefits at lower rates.
If you have been enjoying the low-cost health coverage provided by your school while you are working on your degree and you plan to acquire new coverage once you secure employment, how can you ensure that there are no gaps in your health coverage? What you can do is to apply for interim insurance that offers coverage for a limited period of time while you are in between health policies. People who are in between jobs can apply for COBRA coverage that offers health insurance for as long as 18 months. The counterpart of COBRA for fresh graduates is GradMed, which offers low cost health coverage for up to half a year after you graduate from your course.
Some graduates need to take prescription medication for their medical conditions. With or without insurance, the cost of medication can still take its toll. There may be prescription assistance programs being offered in your community which you can apply for. You can obtain information on these government-subsidized programs from your doctor or local pharmacy. You may also find information online.
Your last option would be to seek out discount policies being offered by plan carriers that you can purchase while you wait for a better job. These discount policies are really cheap but they offer about 65% of the coverage that you would get from employer-provided plans. But still this type of coverage is better than not having any. Almost all insurance carriers offer these types of plans so you should still shop around for the best coverage you can find for the price you are able to pay.
Everybody needs health coverage at all times. Health insurance has become a necessity in our lives today. Going without it can mean high costs probably more than you can pay for, which would mean you can be in debt quite quickly for just one ailment or accident. If you are a fresh graduate then you are in a good position to look carefully for the type of work that will not only provide job satisfaction but offer a sound health plan that can cover you against illness and accident. So think about your options carefully and take a lot of time looking for a company that can provide adequate health coverage for you.