Life Transitions Mean Healthcare Changes
Your healthcare plan is meant to protect your life. So, it makes sense that when your life changes, so should your insurance plan. In particular, two major transitions will mean that you need to step outside your usual comfort zone and learn about new types of healthcare plans, so that you can select one that best suits your needs.
The first transition occurs in young adulthood. Thanks to Affordable Care Act provisions, young adults can stay on their parents’ healthcare plan until they turn 26 years old. Of course, they can also enroll in their own plan earlier than that age, due to employment, marriage, or other circumstances. But once you reach age 26, you must enroll in your own plan.
The prospect can sound daunting, considering the cost of many healthcare plan premiums these days. But young people have options. If your employer provides a group benefits plan, investigate whether they offer certain provisions like a health savings plan or help with the premiums.
If you must shop for your own plan, remember that you can receive subsidies to help with the cost of premiums through Covered California. These subsidies are based on your income and family size, which is good news for young people just getting a start in life.
The other major life transition occurs when you turn 65. At this age, you’re eligible for Medicare. Most people must enroll in Medicare at this time, or else be charged higher premiums later. But in some cases, those who are still employed can remain on their employer’s group benefits plan and defer their Medicare enrollment.
Once it’s time to enroll in Medicare, you can opt for Original Medicare (Parts A and B), plus the addition of an optional Medigap (supplemental) plan or Part D (prescription) plan. Alternatively, you can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, which are plans offered by private insurance companies. These plans must meet basic standards set forth by Medicare, operate on a network of providers, and might include extra perks like vision or dental care. Many, but not all, Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage as well.
There’s a lot to learn at each of these life stages, but you don’t have to do the detective work yourself. Give us a call, and we’ll help you sort through your healthcare options and identify the plan that works best for you.