Congratulations on your on all your accomplishments, Grad! While you’re focusing on your future, have you thought about your health coverage? Here are some tips on choosing a health plan that considers your needs and budget.
1. You can get health insurance now through Maryland Health Connection if you’re losing your student health plan or have recently experienced other major changes.
You can enroll at any time of year through MarylandHealthConnection.gov if you’re losing other health coverage such as a student health plan, coverage through an employer, or aging out of a parent’s health plan because you’re turning 26.
Other major life changes also qualify you to enroll at any time, including getting married, having a baby, or moving to Maryland. See our full list of changes that may qualify you to get covered any time of year.
If these don’t apply, open enrollment for 2020 plans is Nov. 1 to Dec. 15, 2019, and coverage begins Jan. 1, 2020.
2. You can stay on parent's health plan until you turn 26.
This is true even if you aren’t living with your parents, aren’t financially dependent on your parents, are married, or are eligible to enroll in your employer’s plan.
3. You may be able to enroll through MarylandHealthConnection.gov and get cost savings on a health plan.
Yes, your health coverage can be affordable! You may qualify for free health coverage through Medicaid if your annual income is less than $17,237 for an individual. If you’re pregnant or your family has children, you may be able to earn more and still qualify for Medicaid or MCHP.
If your annual income is less than $48,560 for an individual, and you’re not eligible for affordable coverage through an employer, you may qualify for cost savings to make a private plan more affordable. This could include tax credits to lower your monthly premium and lower out-of-pocket costs like your deductible and copays.
4. Do your research before buying a health plan.
Plans available through Maryland Health Connection cover many essential health benefits such as doctor visits and emergency care, and provide free preventive care, such as vaccines and checkups. If you enroll in a plan through Maryland Health Connection, you can choose from many types of plans. Make sure to do your research, so you can understand what you are purchasing.
Consider not only a plan’s monthly premium (your bill each month) but also the deductible (what you’ll pay out-of-pocket before your plan begins to share the costs of medical care), and annual out-of-pocket maximum (the most you’ll have to pay for covered services in a year before your health plan will pay 100% for covered essential health benefits).
If you’re younger than 30, you can buy a Catastrophic plan that is low cost, but will only protect you from medical bills in worst-case scenarios. These plans include three primary care visits per year and some preventive care at no cost.
5. Don’t risk being uninsured.
Always expect the unexpected! Health coverage protects you from medical expenses in case of an accident or health emergency, so you can be prepared.
According to the New York Times, if you do not have health insurance, an emergency room visit can cost up to $3,000 depending on your injuries.
If you don’t have health coverage, you’ll get stuck with the bill. You don’t need any extra debt while you’re trying to get your kickstart your career!
It’s easier than ever to shop for coverage through Maryland Health Connection and check out the cost savings you could get.
- Visit MarylandHealthConnection.gov
- Download our free mobile app, Enroll MHC
- Call Maryland Health Connection at 1-855-642-8572. Deaf and hard of hearing, use Relay Service.
- Visit a local consumer assistance organization, health department or department of social services