Don't forgo health insurance, even if you feel you are healthy. Health emergencies can happen at any time. A broken leg can cost around $7,500. Three days in the hospital could cost over $30,000. Without proper health care coverage, you could risk your financial standing, even bankruptcy.
Stay on a parent's plan until you turn 26
If a parent's health insurance plan covers dependents, you usually can be added to their plan and stay on it until you turn 26. Your parent can add you to their insurance during the plan's yearly Open Enrollment Period or during a Special Enrollment Period.
Once you're on a parent's job-based plan, in most cases you can stay on it until you turn 26 even if you:
- Get married
- Have or adopt a child
- Start or leave school
- Do not live in your parent's home
- Aren't claimed as a tax dependent
- Turn down an offer of job-based coverage
If you're covered by a parent's job-based plan, your coverage usually ends when you turn 26, but check with the employer or plan for the exact date.
Turning 26 soon? Time to take action.
When you age off a parent's job-based plan, you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period to buy health insurance.
If your employer offers health insurance, losing your parent's coverage qualifies you to enroll in a plan outside its yearly Open Enrollment Period. Contact your human resources representation before turning 26 to learn how to get enrolled.
If you do not have access to employer-based health insurance, you can sign up for a plan on the
Health Insurance Marketplace . Your Special Enrollment Period starts 60 days before you lose coverage and ends 60 days after.
IMPORTANT: If your employer offers health insurance and you decide not to enroll in it, you generally won't qualify for a premium tax credit and other savings based on your income to buy a Marketplace plan. You'd have to pay full price.
Understand your insurance
If you have insurance through your employer, make sure you understand what is covered, what doctors and specialists you can see (your network), and how much your