According to the Affordable Care Act, you can’t be covered under your parent’s insurance plan once you turn 26. Researching for your own health insurance plan is tedious. Especially if you do not receive health insurance benefits from your employer. If you are facing these particular circumstances, read this article. In order to make this doable, you need to plan ahead, know what to expect and stay organized.

Find out when your current health insurance plan expires

If you are under your parents’ health insurance, call your parents’ current health insurance company and find out the date your coverage ends. The expiration date varies depending on the health insurance company. Your health insurance may end on your 26th birthday or at the end of the month after you turn 26.

Learn health insurance terms and definitions

There are health insurance terms with definitions available online, which will appear on health insurance websites, online brochures, and applications. Once you are familiar with health insurance terms and definitions, it will be less tedious browsing health insurance websites and when you enroll in a plan.

You likely qualify for the special enrollment plan

There are two health insurance enrollment plans. The Open Enrollment Plan is a limited time frame to sign up for health insurance and the dates vary by state. The 2020 Open Enrollment Plan deadline has passed. Therefore, you likely qualify for the Special Enrollment Plan due to a life event, such as losing health insurance after you turn 26.

Research health insurance plans in advance

Begin researching health insurance companies at least a month prior to your 26th birthday. Browse their health insurance plans. Once you have narrowed down a couple of health insurance companies, you need to call the health insurance company.

Call the health insurance companies for assistance

Tell the health insurance agent(s) that you are losing health insurance soon. Request assistance to find a new health insurance plan(s). Be ready to answer a few questions so the health insurance agent can help you find the right health insurance plan and inform you on the application process. While you are on the phone, take notes and ask for clarification if necessary. They will assist you if browsing the health insurance websites is stressful.

Be cautious with your contact information

Do not fill out your number or email address on health insurance websites if you are attempting to find health insurance plans online. Consequently, you will receive numerous calls and emails from health insurance representatives and that is overwhelming. If that happens, block their messages.

Organize health insurance information in folders

Since you likely will be browsing a few health insurance companies, create folders to store printed health insurance brochures and any other important information.

For those who are turning 26, this is a basic guide to help ease the health insurance research process and eventual transition to your own health insurance plan.

Cameron Custer has been active in politics for over two years. She served as communications director for Abilene Christian University College Republicans. She has interned at Dallas County Republican Party, where she has been inspired to continue gaining work experience at a senatorial campaign.

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