It might be time to take your adult kids off the family health plan

Personal Finance


There is no blanket statement that applies to all health plans. What is most important for families as they make health insurance decisions with adult children is that they have an active conversation about coverage.

“That ends up being a negotiation not unlike when the adult son or daughter is still living at home,” said Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate.com. “What is their responsibility to pay for? How much should they be saving for future expenses so they can be successful living independently?”

If you’re an adult child looking to obtain your own health insurance and are confused, ask for help. Other than your parents, there are resources from your employer and your state exchange that will help you find the best health insurance plan for you.

Here are some basic health insurance pointers to remember as you’re selecting and navigating your first plan, from DirectPath.

1. Remember that preventative care is free

Typically, annual checkups and some vaccinations are covered at no charge. The best way to keep healthcare costs low is to stay healthy.

2. Pay attention to deadlines – you can’t change your mind

Annual enrollment periods only last a few weeks, and there is generally a window of about 30 days in which you can change your selection for coverage. After that, you’re stuck with the plan you chose for a year.

3. Keep up to date with your coverage

Many people have a “set it and forget it” mentality when it comes to health insurance, Buckey said. But, over time your needs have probably changed and there might be a better plan out there for you. She says to take time to review your options every year.

4. Learn how to discuss cost with your doctor

Doctors are not insurance experts. If cost is a concern for you, bring it up in your appointments with your physician. They may be able to help keep costs low or help you determine what your plan covers.

5. Shop around for the best option

Prices for different procedures and drugs vary. Ask for generic drugs if available, or see if your doctor has samples that you can try if they’d like you to start a new prescription.



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