As a college student—or as a millennial in general—health coverage may not be something you think about very often. It may seem too complex or expensive. Nevada Health Link wants to help you navigate your summer health coverage options and show you that health care is more accessible and affordable than you might think. With a qualified health plan through Nevada Health Link, you have multiple options to stay covered and remain healthy this summer.
Stay on your parent’s health insurance plan.
Generally, you can stay on your parent’s health insurance plan until you’re 26; even if you get married, have or adopt a child, start or leave school, live in or out of your parent’s home, are not claimed as a tax dependent or even turn down a job with health care coverage.
If you’re covered by your parent’s health insurance plan, you’re generally covered through Dec. 31 of the year you turn 26. Be sure to check the plan details, as some states and plans have different rules. You can be added to a parent’s job-based health insurance plan during open enrollment or a special enrollment period (SEP). If your parents have a marketplace plan, they can either include you on their initial application or add you to their existing plan during open enrollment or the special enrollment period.
Get coverage through a special enrollment period.
The open enrollment period for plan year 2018 starts this November and goes through Dec. 15. You might, however, qualify for a special enrollment period if you’ve had certain life changes. These changes can include, but are not limited to, turning 26, graduating from college, moving to a new ZIP code area or getting a new job. If you qualify, start the process of enrolling in a health care plan here.
Apply for Medicaid.
Another potential option may be Medicaid. Your income and family size may qualify you for Medicaid, or other government subsidized healthcare options. If you qualify, you can enroll anytime. In Nevada, if your annual income as an individual is less than $16,394, you qualify for Medicaid. Follow this link to find out if you qualify.
Obtain a catastrophic plan.
Catastrophic plans are just what they sound like—coverage for catastrophic health-related scenarios only. While these plans may have a low monthly premium cost, they also have a lot less coverage – less than 60 percent of your out of pocket medical costs. With a catastrophic health coverage plan, you will pay a high deductible, or amount out-of-pocket, before the insurance company pays any of your incurred medical costs.
Be wary of short term limited duration plans.
A short term plan is not a long-term solution. This type of plan may sound attractive at first, but it does not include the ten essential health benefits, which include emergency services, maternity care and preventative care. If you choose a short term limited duration plan, you are also not able to receive financial assistance to help pay for monthly premiums which, in many cases, can cover a substantial portion leaving you with a small monthly out-of-pocket cost.
No one really plans to get sick or injured, but unexpected things can and do happen – even to healthy people. Don’t take the chance, review your options and keep yourself protected with health care coverage.