Young Adults are the least likely to have individual health insurance, according to the United States Census Bureau.
Beware the “gap year” in individual health insurance plans. In America, when a child is 26 years old, they are no longer covered by their parent’s life insurance policy. This can be a problem, as the lapse in coverage can go unnoticed by both parent and child. If anything happens, the entire family can be dramatically affected by a lack of health insurance coverage for the young adult.
Many people believe that once a child moves out of the home, they can no longer be covered by their parents’ health insurance coverage. Not so! In fact, until a child turns 26, even if they have moved out, are married, and are no longer financially dependent upon their parents, they are still covered on their parent’s family health insurance plan. Even if they are eligible to be covered under their employer’s health insurance plan, they can stay on their parent’s plan. This is especially beneficial if the parental plan is more comprehensive than the individual health insurance quotes, as is often the case.
This all ends, however, on the child’s 26th birthday (if the parent’s plan is through their employer) or on December 31st of the year they turn 26 (if the parent purchased their health insurance on the Health Insurance Marketplace).
Unfortunately there is quite often a lag between parental health insurance coverage and individual health insurance for that adult child.
They may think that a year or two without health insurance is no problem, but the age of 26 is especially important in many young people’s lives. According to Forbes Magazine, in 2019 the average age of first time mothers is 26, up from 21 just a few years earlier. With the average cost of hospital delivery hovering around $5000 with insurance and $10,000 without, it is clear that young adult health insurance is not a “nice to have,” it’s absolutely essential.
In addition, the leading cause of death for young adults between the ages of 15-29 is car accidents. The number of car accidents that are not fatal is also extremely high for this age group, which means allowing your adult child’s health insurance to lapse when coverage on the parent’s health insurance plan expires can be an expensive mistake.
In general, it is important to have individual health insurance coverage once parental coverage has expired, as children in their mid to late 20s are typically fun-loving and adventurous. According to the United States Parachute Association, 20% of all who jump are in their mid to late 20s. Rock climbers in this age group number close to 40% of all carabiners. While it’s wonderful to live life to the fullest, these activities can lead to some unexpected accidents…and expenses.
Most family health insurance policies cover dependents under the age of 26 at no additional cost, but occasionally it is worth it to have health insurance for child only. In cases where a child has exceptional circumstances surrounding their health, such as a disability, cancer or a critical illness, a health insurance provider may require separate, individual health insurance coverage for a child.
There are two types of individual coverage for children:
Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP): The requirements are different in each state, but if a family is ineligible for coverage under Medicaid, CHIP provides low-cost health coverage for children. This covers the typical list of procedures and tests, such as immunizations, check-ups, prescriptions, dental and vision care, lab tests, x-rays, and emergency services.
Health Insurance Marketplace: If a family is ineligible for CHIP, they can obtain health insurance for parents through the Marketplace, as well as separate, child-only health insurance plans. In fact, it’s worth it to begin the process of obtaining health insurance directly through the Marketplace: if a family is eligible for Medicaid or CHIP, that family will be informed.
In the final analysis, there is no reason to allow a child’s health insurance to lapse. The best individual health insurance can be obtained through a quick search of the Health Insurance Marketplace, and an individual health insurance plan can be obtained in minutes.
Via: GlobalRelease Wire