What Happens At 26 With Health Insurance?

A huge sigh of relief swept over many college students when the Affordable Care Act was signed into law in 2010; they could stay on their parent’s health insurance for 7 more years. But 7 years can easily turn into 7 months before you know it, and that extra lease on life is quickly passing by and many have reverted to their college attitude of procrastination. Some desperate souls are even wondering, “Do I really need health insurance anyway? I’m a pretty healthy person.” Calm down. Take a deep breath. You’re going to be okay. There are a few options you can take moving forward to alleviate your stress.

Know the Difference Between the Open Enrollment and Special Enrollment Periods

Open Enrollment

If you’re reading this, you probably didn’t realize that there is actually a specified time that you are supposed to apply for your health insurance plan for the following year. In the state of Indiana, the open enrollment period for 2020 health insurance plans is between November 1st, 2019 and December 15, 2019. This is the generally designated period of time when you can enroll in health insurance, make changes to your coverage, or even cancel your health coverage. Here is a fair warning so you can prepare for this time if you do not already fall into the next type of enrollment period. If it’s December 16th when you’re reading this, then keep on reading because you still have another option.

Special Enrollment

This is what you’re probably closer to qualifying for right now since you’re reading a blog about turning 26 and being uninsured. It’s a 60-day window specially opened for you, based upon changes in your life, i.e. losing your parent’s health insurance coverage, among other things. This health insurance enrollment period starts up to 60 days before and after your 26th birthday, in your case. Take advantage of this time to explore the options you have for health care coverage with a health insurance agent, who is qualified in assisting you moving forward.

Your Health Insurance Options

Private Insurance

If you’re in a position where your employers offer a group health insurance plan, that is often the wisest move to make, but make sure you know what you’re getting if you were to accept it. Being more familiar with certain health insurance terms will help you make an educated decision.


If you are under a certain income bracket you may qualify for state-funded health insurance. This will provide you with opportunities to receive lower premiums through tax credits and cost-sharing reductions.

Student Health Insurance

If you still have some life in you from your undergraduate years, decided to immerse yourself in grad work, and are still feeling the weight of student loans, Michael Suhany Insurance can remove some burden from you. There aren’t a lot of colleges that really offer anything at all, and when they did it wasn’t very substantive or useful. But I can work with you to get a more comprehensive medical insurance plan than anything your school could ever offer.

“A La Carte” Personal Insurance

This plan will honestly take a lot of the fear and anxiety out of purchasing health insurance for you if none of the above options are available to you – and it’s quite popular. It gives you the ability to sit down and have a chat with a friendly, helpful, and qualified insurance agent like you would experience at Michael Suhany Insurance to select an insurance plan that uniquely suits your needs.

I would love to sit down with you to answer any questions you have about getting health insurance on your own for the first time in order to make sure you’re not only more informed, but are also getting the right health coverage for you.