You know your kids have got a lot on their minds. They may need to finish school and look for their first real job.
One thing that might not be on their radar yet is getting health insurance. But it's a big deal. Especially when you consider that the average emergency room visit can cost more than $1,200.
The health reform law makes it easier for people ages 19 to 26 to get insurance -- whether they have a job or you're still supporting them.
The new rules roll out over a period of several years.
In the past, your child was kicked off your health plan at age 19 or once he or she graduated from college. Under the new health care law, most insurance plans must cover children up to age 26.
Your child can stay on your plan even if he or she moves out of the house or gets married.
Under the new law, if your child gets a job with health benefits, they have a choice to make. They will be able to either sign up for the plan they can get with their job or stay on your plan.
It's important to know that these rules don't go into effect June 2014. Until then, some insurance plans won't cover your child if the child's employer offers health insurance.
Your child might be in this situation if you have what's called a "grandfathered" plan. That's a plan that existed before March 23, 2010 -- the day the health reform bill became law.
Under the new law, your child who is age 19 to 26 will also have access to free preventive services, such as:
- Blood pressure and cholesterol checks
- Well-child visits (up to age 21)
- Cancer screenings
- Pregnancy care
- Quit-smoking, diet, or weight loss help
Dental and vision plans work differently than your other health insurance. Whether your child aged 19 to 26 is covered depends on the type of dental or vision insurance plan you have.
How to Choose a Plan
If your 19- to 26-year-old is trying to decide which insurance plan to go with -- yours or one offered by your child's job -- take a close look at the type of plan being offered. Here are some options you might have to think about: