The Affordable Care Act is now in full swing as we wrap up our first year of new regulations. A hot topic has been the decline (and future decline) of the “group plan” and children growing up and getting their own plan. As most of you are probably aware, by age 26 your children are now consider adults in the eyes of the health insurance world and must get a plan for themselves.
When this happens, if a child was on a plan through their parents work they have the ability to elect cobra coverage. Cobra is the option to continue on the group plan as an individual by paying 102% of the coverage (the group no longer pays any portion of this plan) up to 18 months. While this is an easy conversion option it is not always the most affordable. Usually at age 26 you’re getting out into the working world, maybe starting a family and don’t have a lot of extra cash flow. At this point we recommend applying for at a tax subsidy.
Some groups have “reconstructed” their group model to keep up with the inflation of the ACA. Costs have gone up and some employers have reconsidered paying as much as they used to for dependents or just getting rid of group coverage all together–and therefore–having employee’s seek plan’s on their own. If your child is no longer eligible for coverage the same rules apply as above. They may not be able to hop on a cobra option but they are still able to apply for a subsidy and hopefully find an affordable policy.
With Cobra you can elect to keep all benefits (not just health). A lot of groups will include dental and vision. As cobra is usually a more expensive option (since you are paying full cost), it’s not a bad idea to drop those benefits and find individual options. Dental and Vision are relatively cheap benefits. Reach out to your local Health Insurance Specialists representatives and we can find you a dental or vision plan for under $20 bucks.
This article was written by Patrick, a contributing writer and employee of The Health Insurance Specialists Inc.
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