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- You are allowed to stay on existing parent’s healthcare plan up to age 26
- You may qualify for expanded Medicaid coverage or other subsidies through the ACA Marketplace
- Filing for an exemption allows you to obtain a catastrophic healthcare plan, which can be combined with a Health Savings Plan
- Look for affordable group coverage through employers, organizations, or any school you attend
- Supplement your Medicare plan with a sturdy Medigap policy
The ACA has made it possible for adult children, up to age 26, to stay on the current health insurance plan of a parent. You can enjoy this coverage whether you are financially dependent, a student, single, or married. It helps when younger adults are transitioning from school to the work world.
Most insurance companies are comfortable with the law since younger adults are in one of the lowest risk groups for injury and catastrophic illness. You should explore the possibility of staying on the plan of your parents if it is possible. You will enjoy a better rate and uninterrupted healthcare coverage.
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Expanded Medicaid and Subsidies
Many states have expanded Medicaid to avoid a coverage gap of poor people that are unable to afford Marketplace coverage, or coverage from the private healthcare insurance sector. This is generally in the area of 133 percent below the poverty level, which will qualify you for Medicaid coverage in an expanded state.
Unfortunately, if you live in a state that has not expanded the Medicaid program, you will be unable to qualify for subsidy assistance either. It is still wise to go ahead and apply for Medicaid, even if your state is one of the hold-outs for expanding coverage.
If your income suddenly increases from 100 to 400 percent above the poverty level, you will be able to participate and find an affordable plan in the Marketplace.
All you have to do is report the rise in income within 60 days and you can begin to take advantage of subsidies and tax credits for an affordable individual plan.
Catastrophic Healthcare Plans
If your income is low and you have applied for coverage through the Marketplace, have applied and been denied Medicaid, you now qualify for an exemption from the penalty assessed to anyone not covered by adequate health insurance plans.
With this exemption, you can now find an affordable catastrophic healthcare plan that will fit the needs of protecting you financially from a catastrophic healthcare emergency, while providing you with a few basic healthcare essentials. You will get a small number of doctor visits, immunizations and a few free screenings each year.
A catastrophic healthcare plan is not ideal, but it fits the better-than-nothing ideology that will prove helpful in a pinch. The deductibles and out-of-pocket amounts are astronomical, but it beats having to pay all expenses alone if you develop a chronic, life-threatening illness, or injury.
Group Healthcare Plans Through An Employer
The most affordable healthcare plans for individuals are to be found in group coverage that is employer-sponsored. Your employer is paying a portion of the premium and can normally offer you a wide range of options. Insurers need to have younger, healthier people on the group plans, so you will find an option that is very economical and matches your healthcare needs.
There could be additional perks to a group plan, such as prescription medication coverage. A plan is only deemed “affordable” if it requires just under 10 percent of your salary in premiums.
Health Savings Accounts
Some individuals prefer to save a little money by signing on for a High Deductible Health Plan. The deductibles can be much higher than traditional plans, but coupled with a health savings plan, it is a decent option that should be explored.
A Health Savings Account, or HSA, is a way to save money pre-tax that can be used strictly for paying the high deductibles associated with your chosen healthcare plan.
HSAs can be started through the group coverage offered by an employer, or you can find an outside financial institution to handle the account. You can take tax deductions if seeking a source outside of the employer since this method will be post-tax money added to the savings account.
There are some accounts that earn interest, but you must show adequate reason to pull the funds out. The funds will roll-over each year and get added to any additional amounts you save. It is the perfect way to prepare for major medical emergencies and procedures.
Student Healthcare Plans
Being a college student does have perks! There are normally group healthcare plans available that are budget-conscious for ongoing students. This is enormously helpful if you are a graduate student and no longer eligible to stay on the parent’s plan.
It is also more convenient if you are having to attend college in another state. These plans should all be ACA-compliant, but make sure of this fact before you sign up.
Professional Organization Group Health Insurance Plans
Have you ever received a flyer that originated from a professional organization you belong to and it was about group insurance plans? It may be time to start reading these carefully and see what is available for you through a membership organization. These policies are generally formed from a pool of people in order to lower the risks and can be affordable for most people. It is an additional resource when searching for a great individual healthcare plan.
Medicare and Supplemental Plans for Older Singles
One solution for older Americans to counter rising healthcare costs is to add a Medigap policy to an existing Part A and Part B Medicare policy. You have to have both A and B to qualify for Medigap coverage and will need to exit a Medicare Advantage Plan before the Medigap coverage starts.
Medigap plans do not typically pay for long-term stays in medical facilities, private-duty nurses, dental or vision care, but they will help fill in the gaps for covered medical services.
You will have less out-of-pocket expenses than with Medicare alone. Be aware of the open enrollment periods for this coverage and plan ahead if you plan to change, or leave a Medigap plan altogether.
There can be penalties associated with late enrollment.
Contact a healthcare insurance specialist and find out the best individual plans available for all ages and incomes. The ACA has made healthcare affordable for most Americans. Perhaps it is time to take a look and see what options are available for you today!
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