ObamaCare’s Options for Young Adults

Beginning in 2014, ObamaCare will make it a legal requirement for all U.S. citizens to get health care coverage or face a penalty.  This is part of the individual mandate that the Supreme Court upheld in their ruling last summer (2012).  What will this mean to healthy, young Americans who often chose not to have insurance?  Well in a nutshell, they will have to pay into the system whether they like it or not.  Here are some options in 2014:

Staying on Their Parent’s Insurance Plan

Young people do have some options.  Young people can stay on their parent’s health insurance up to the age of 26 as long as that plan includes coverage for children.  This was one of the more well received provisions of ObamaCare that took effect in September, 2010.  There are exceptions to this ruling however; for example, retirees under the age of 65 will not be able to use their insurance to cover their dependent adult children.  Adult children can not stay on their parent’s Medicare plan either.  Also, if adult children can have insurance through their employer, they can be denied coverage through their parent’s plan. 

Buying a Catastrophic Health Plan Through Their State Exchange

Another option for young people under the age of 30 will be to buy a Catastrophic Health Plan through their state’s exchange.  This Catastrophic Plan will include three annual visits to a doctor and some prevention benefits.  This plan will only be available to this age group.  It is a plan that will cost less than the other plans offered through the state exchanges. The exact price and coverage are still being worked out by the individual states.

Other Options

Beginning 2014, the only other options are to 1.)  buy a more expensive plan through the state exchanges, 2.)  get insurance through your employer, 3.)  get enrolled in your state’s Medicaid plan (if you are unemployed or below the federal poverty line) or 4.)  face tax penalties for being uninsured. 

For now,  young adults should consider staying on their parent’s plan if possible, getting their insurance through their employment or buying a high deductible plan such as a Catastrophic Plan.