Getting medical coverage during job hunt

medical The National Center for Education Statistics found that in 2014 more than 3 million people were expected to graduate college (with an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or doctor’s degree) . While many of these new grads will find jobs immediately, for some, it may take a while. For those that want to travel the world for a few months, take some much-needed time off or simply can’t find a job in their field right away, what are they supposed to do about health insurance? While in college, students have many options for health insurance. They can be on their parents’ plan, get a health insurance plan through their school, and purchase a high-deductible plan and more. Once they graduate, though, it’s up to them to find adequate health insurance coverage. According to the article “Health Insurance Considerations for Job Seekers,” it’s important to have health care coverage for you and your family when looking for a job or in between jobs. The article notes that without coverage, you’re at a higher risk of declaring bankruptcy because of medical-related bills. Even during transition periods, it’s always in your best interest to be covered under an insurance plan.

Health insurance options for new grads

If you find yourself just out of college, without a job and with no health insurance plan, there are a few options you can consider. Among them:
  • Short-term health insurance – Short-term health insurance plans offer coverage to those that are in-between jobs, looking for a job or for those that may have missed their company’s open enrollment period. Most short-term plans are attractive because they offer lower premiums than regular health insurance (and therefore, lower monthly payments), but keep in mind the benefits are usually more limited.
  • Coverage under a family member – New laws state that children can remain on their parents’ plan up until age 26, even if they are married or not in school. If your parents’ plan isn’t an option, you can get on your spouse’s plan if you are married (keep in mind that open enrollment only happens once per year, so this may not be an option right away).
  • Your own individual plan – The final option is to sign up for your own individual or family plan. With the Affordable Care Act in place, health insurance plans are more affordable now than ever. Not only is it easier on your wallet, it also makes it much easier for young adults to acquire coverage than before.
Whichever plan you choose to go with, make sure to do your research and fully understand all of your options. Pick a plan that makes the most sense for you – both financially and benefits-wise. If you’re rarely ill and don’t see the doctor more than once a year, a high-deductible plan may be best. On the other hand, if you do tend to get sick each season and visit the doctor frequently, you may want a more involved plan. No matter what, though, any health insurance plan is better than no health insurance plan. Do yourself a favor and don’t risk going uninsured.   About the Author: Sarah Brooks is a freelance writer living in Glendale, AZ. She writes on health insurance plans, small businesses and personal finance.