Here are some tips for recent graduates regarding their health insurance:

1)    See if you can be covered by your parent’s policy.  The Affordable Care Act provides that young adults can stay on their parents’ health insurance plans until the age of 26.  In most cases, it’s less expensive (and less work) to stay on a parent’s policy.  Check first to see if this is an option for you.

2)    If you had obtained your insurance through your college/university and it ended upon graduation, you can file for special enrollment through the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance exchange.  Visit healthcare.gov for details.  We recommend all individuals look to healthcare.gov first, as the insurance is government backed and you may qualify for subsidy depending on your income level.  If you are a healthy young adult, you can seek out a catastrophic plan which will have a smaller monthly premium.

3)    If you are waiting to take a job with an employer that is going to offer you insurance but the job doesn’t start for a month or two, you can buy short term insurance via one of the many health insurance sites that represents multiple insurers.  We highly recommend you not stay on one of these policies for any length of time, as they are not nearly as good as the policies you can get through healthcare.gov or even other long term policies available through the open market.

4)   To avoid penalties, you must be insured with a plan that meets the parameters as set by the Affordable Care Act.  Although you might be young, healthy and fit, its still important to carry quality insurance.  (We carry car insurance not because we know we’ll need it, but in case we do).

Be smart, get covered and be well!