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Health Care Reform:

Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act

Health Insurance for Young Adults: FAQ

Health insurance is changing for many adults. That includes young people like you who are in their late teens and early 20s.

Whether you're a student, looking for a job, or working, you have options for health insurance you may not know about.

I've heard I can stay on my parents' health insurance plan. Is that true?

Yes. The law now allows you to stay on your parents' health plan up to the age of 26.

What if I'm in school or already married? Will my parents' health insurance still cover me?

Yes. You can keep getting health insurance on your parents' plan until age 26, even if you're a student or married.

Adding you to your parents' policy could increase what they have to pay each month for a premium. Family coverage costs more than individual coverage or for an individual plus a spouse.

Do I have to be living with my parents to be on their health insurance?

No. You don't need to live with your parents or even in the same state to be covered by your parents' insurance policy.

You can be on their insurance plan until you turn 26, even if you're working and are not financially dependent upon your parents. The only thing that matters in this case is your age. Until your 26th birthday, you can be on their plan -- if they agree to that.

If I have to enroll in a health plan in my state's Marketplace, what are the most affordable plans?

If you buy a plan through your state's Marketplace , also called an Exchange, you'll have a choice of health plans at different levels of coverage. And you'll have choices about how you spread the cost of care between premiums, which is the amount you pay each month for insurance and how much you pay when you get health care.

Here are some health plans that will likely appeal to young adults because of their lower monthly payments.

  • Catastrophic plans cover preventive care and at least three primary care visits a year, even if you have not yet paid all the deductible. In 2015, the deductible for these plans may be as high as nearly $6,400 for one adult and $13,200 for a family.
  • Bronze plan : You pay 40% of the cost and the plan pays 60%.
  • Sliver plan: You pay 30% of the cost and the plan pays 70%.

On your state's Marketplace, you may be eligible for financial aid based on how much money your family makes in a year and the size of your family. One type of aid is a tax credit, which lowers how much you have to pay each month for your insurance premium. Another type of aid is a cost-sharing subsidy, which saves you money when you get health care by lowering the deductibles and copays or coinsurance. These are only available on silver plans.

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