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Turning 26? Here’s a Really Important Word of Advice

We know that there is nothing like sweet sixteen, but turning twenty-six could be a big deal! It is time for a talk about the dreaded topic that you have successfully managed to avoid – health insurance.

The Affordable Care Act states that youngsters can continue to rely on their parents’ insurance plans until the age of twenty-six. It applies to all individuals irrespective of their marital status, location, or dependency standing. After that, you will be on your own when it comes to medical matters.

What Changes at The Age of 26?

mister_a/Unsplash: Time to make some vital changes

If not done already, you need to get insurance for yourself and your family. In states like New York and New Jersey, individuals can be listed as dependent on their parents’ coverage if they are unmarried and have no kids. For switching to an independent plan, there is a ‘special open enrollment’ period of four months, which begins 60 days before you turn twenty-six.

Where Should I Get My Insurance?

Syda Productions/Shutterstock: Where to get a health insurance?

There are many options through which you can get yourself insured. Here are the most common ones.

  • COBRA – Short for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, it states that parents can extend their off-springs’ medical plan dependency for an additional three years.
  • Company – You can talk to your organization’s management about the options they provide and sign up for it.
  • Dependent – Espoused individuals can rely on their partner’s employer-sponsored medical insurance plan.
  • School – Most schools provide health coverage for the enrolled students that you can avail of.
  • Marketplace – If none of the above options suit you, you can find the best policy offered out in the market.

How Comprehensive Is the Coverage?

David MG/Shutterstock: Analysing the details related to coverage of an insurance plan

The insurance marketplace has different metal categories offering varying levels of coverage. For instance, the Bronze option covers 60% of your healthcare costs, whereas Platinum covers 90%.

What If I Decide Not to Get One?

While the federal government does not impose a tax penalty if you don’t have insurance, it is imperative that you get one. In the US, medical expenses can go through the roof in case of emergencies. You can go ahead and risk not having insurance if there’s a sizable contingency corpus lying in your bank accounts.

A viable alternative is Catastrophic Insurance, which is available to individuals not older than 30. It encompasses a deductible of $8150 but has relatively lower premiums. The idea of this policy is to ensure financial security in case of a major medical catastrophe.

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