Alternatives for New College Graduates and their Families

June 10, 2011

Congratulations to eHealth (disclosure – eHealth is a business partner of GradGuard and Next Generation Insurance Group) for taking an innovative approach to educating young adults regarding the importance of taking responsibility for their health insurance options. eHealth has created videos that can be found on their YouTube page, which  all center on the theme of individual responsibility by encouraging viewers to make themselves aware of all of their health insurance options and enroll in coverage.

According to eHeatlh “Health care reform made health insurance more accessible for most Americans, especially young adults aged 18-34 who make up 23 percent of the population, but constitute 41 percent of the uninsured population1. eHealthInsurance created the following five tips to help all uninsured Americans (especially those who are new to the job market) take advantage of their new health coverage options under the Affordable Care Act:

  1. Check your options – Go to eHealthInsurance.com or work with another licensed agent to get quotes for private insurance options in your area. Many people are shocked by how affordable an individual health insurance policy can be, especially for healthy young adults.
  2. Expect better benefits – Provisions of the health care reform law expanded benefits for many new health insurance policies. For example, it put an end to lifetime dollar limits on coverage for most medical services. It also made certain preventive care services available to policyholders with no out-of-pocket cost and increased consumer protections from rate increases.
  3. Don’t run from pre-existing conditions – Review eHealthInsurance’s list of pre-existing conditions that don’t necessarily result in a declined application for individual insurance. And, investigate the new Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan available through the Department of Health and Human Services at Healthcare.gov.
  4. Get a second opinion – Contact the non-profit Foundation for Health Coverage Education (www.coverageforall.org) if you don’t qualify for private insurance due to a preexisting medical condition or if you want to learn more about public program options in your state. The Foundation for Health Coverage Education can direct you to all available state and federal health insurance products available for people in your position.
  5. Pay a fair price – Don’t be afraid to negotiate prices for expensive medical procedures. Find out what the going rate is for a host of medical services by visiting Healthcare Blue Book (www.HealthcareBlueBook.com). This strategy is especially helpful for people who have high deductible health insurance plans, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), are uninsured, or who visit an out-of-network medical provider.”

GradGuard offers two good alternatives for young adults – the first is short term medical insurance. Although short term medical insurance is not ideal for all new graduates, it is often a good fit for the often uncertain career paths of new graduates who do not have any chronic medical conditions. GradGuard also offers the Student Health Plan – which is available to members of College Parents of America and provides a good alternative for new graduates who may be entering graduate school programs.

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