The Affordable Care Act (sometimes called Obamacare) is confusing and something many young adults haven’t had to worry about yet. But it’s important for young adults to understand what the Affordable Care Act (ACA) means for them.
In fact, it’s so important that some colleges and universities are providing students with information to help them understand what they need to do to get insured. Gravie recently partnered with community colleges in Indiana and North Carolina to give students basic facts about the ACA and to serve as a resource they can use to choose and buy their own plans.
We’ve compiled a list of the top 5 things we think young adults should know about health insurance:
- The Open Enrollment Period is happening now. It started November 1 and runs until January 31, 2016. This is the time when anyone can apply for health insurance. To get coverage for January 1, you need to enroll by December 15. (Hey, that’s soon!)
- You’ll have to pay a fine if you don’t have health insurance. The ACA requires that (almost) everyone have health insurance. In 2016, the fine for not having health insurance is $695 or 2.5% of your household income—whichever is higher. Plus you’ll have to pay the full out-of-pocket costs of any medical bills.
- Once you turn 26, you can’t be on your parents’ plan anymore. The ACA allows dependents to stay on their parents’ health insurance plan until they turn 26. After that, you’ll have to fend for yourself!
- There are a few different places where you can get your health coverage. You can shop for coverage through a government-run exchange (either the federal exchange or a state exchange, depending on where you live), directly through an insurance company, or through a company like Gravie, who shows you all the options available.
- You may be eligible for government tax credits. Based on factors like your household income and number of dependents, you may be eligible for tax credits that could reduce your monthly cost. You can find out if you qualify and for how much by using the Kaiser Family Foundation Subsidy Calculator. If you do qualify for a tax credit, you’ll have to apply for it through your state’s exchange or the federal exchange. (Or you can call Gravie and we’ll help you do this.)