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Insuring Independence

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Although the Affordable Care Act has made it much easier to remain on your parents’ health-insurance plan, that doesn’t mean you get a free ride forever. Below, Maria Gordon-Shydlo of UnitedHealthcare explains the ins and outs of this complex issue.

What is the cutoff age for adult children to be covered by their parents’ insurance plans?

Under the Affordable Care Act, they can stay on until age 26; in New York, it’s until age 29 under certain circumstances.

What should a person do once coverage ends?

While some young people may be eligible for healthcare coverage through their jobs, those buying their own health insurance can explore coverage options on the New York State of Health Marketplace, if they reside in the state. If they move to another state, they can visit https://healthcare.gov for options. They should also determine if they are eligible for subsidies to help defray the cost of their coverage.

How do I go about selecting a health-insurance plan?

Do your homework. Everyone has different healthcare and budget needs. By learning about each plan’s benefits, you may find important ways to save money on healthcare costs—whether it’s by selecting a plan with a lower monthly cost and/or a different deductible level, or a plan that will cover more of the expected costs for a major health event you might anticipate, such as surgery or regular use of prescription drugs.

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