Are you still covered by your parent’s health insurance policy? If you answered yes, then you can thank Obamacare. Previously, most young adults had to find their own insurance after they turned 21. Obamacare raised the age limit to 26. So, if you’re turning 26 this year, chances are you’re about to get kicked off mom’s or dad’s plan.
What should you do?
Call the insurance company. Many insurers end coverage for 26-year-olds on the last day of their birth month. However, some will kick you out on your actual birthday. What a gift! Find out exactly when your coverage will be discontinued.
Talk with your supervisor. See if you’re eligible for employer sponsored health insurance. Request a copy of the benefits package. Don’t be afraid to ask for more hours if that’s what it takes to become eligible. Companies with 100 or more full-time employees may face tax penalties for not offering health insurance.
Visit the healthcare Marketplace. If employer sponsored coverage isn’t an option for you, the Marketplace may help. There you can see if you qualify for Obamacare subsidies to help pay your premiums. The Marketplace is a one-stop shop where you can compare plans from multiple insurance companies. Open enrollment lasts until February 15, but if your birthday falls outside of open enrollment and you’re getting kicked off your parent’s plan, you could qualify for a special enrollment period. You have up to 60 days to enroll after your qualifying life event.
Know the penalty. If you’re uninsured for 90 days or more, you could be subject to the Obamacare penalty. All U.S. citizens and lawfully present immigrants must have coverage, qualify for an exemption, or pay a penalty.
Contact a tax adviser. He or she can tell you whether or not you could be subject to the penalty.
-- By Alice Robeson