Q: I’m a young adult under the age of 26 and I’m on my parents plan now, but I’m scheduled to lose coverage soon. How can I keep my health insurance?
A: You have a number of options. First, check with your insurance company. Private health insurance companies that cover the majority of Americans have volunteered to provide coverage for young adults losing coverage as a result of graduating from college or aging out of dependent coverage on a family policy. This stop-gap coverage, in many cases, is available now. Second, watch for open enrollment. Young adults may qualify for an open enrollment period to join their parents’ family plan or policy on or after September 23, 2010. Insurers and employers are required to provide notice for this special open enrollment period. Watch for it or ask about it. Finally, expect an offer of continued enrollment for plans that begin on or after September 23, 2010. Insurers and employers that sponsor health plans will inform young adults of continued eligibility for coverage until the age of 26. Young adults and their parents need not do anything but sign up and pay for this option.