College Graduates May Be In Danger of Losing Their Health Insurance

College Graduates May Be In Danger of Losing Their Health Insurance

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Recent college grads should review their health insurance coverage since many of them could be losing their current plan.

Changing your current plan to another one can be tricky unless you meet the standards for a "qualifying life event" under the Affordable Care Act such as getting married or divorced, moving from one coverage area or changes in your salary. College graduation is not a qualifying event.

Consumers who experience a qualifying event have a 60-day window to enroll in a new ACA compliant health plan, said Carrie McLean, director of customer care at eHealth.com, an online health insurance exchange based in Mountain View, Calif.

"Losing ACA-compliant coverage that you received through school or moving to a new state or city may be qualifying life events," she said.

College grads who were insured under a school-sponsored plan that meets the coverage requirements of the ACA but are losing their coverage are likely to have their situation considered as a "qualifying event," McLean said.

Sticking with your parents' health plan sounds like an easy and sensible idea since the ACA allows your parents to keep you on the family health insurance plan until you turn 26.

"However, Mom and Dad aren't required to keep you on their plan, and it may cost them to do so," she said. "What's more, if you live away from home in another city or state, your access to network doctors and hospitals through your parents' plan may be limited or non-existent."

Don't limit yourself to government-run health insurance exchanges. There are other plans available outside of government exchanges that can also meet your coverage requirements under the ACA. To find the plan that best meets your needs and budget, compare the options available through your government exchange with other options available through private online marketplaces.