Turning 26? Here’s How To Shop For A Budget-Friendly Health Plan

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By age 26, you’ve hit plenty of milestones. You’ve made it through school, scored a “real” job, and maybe even quit that “real” job. You’ve learned the value of a full night’s sleep and a predictable routine. And, according to your parents, you’ve become a technology prodigy.

Despite everything you’ve mastered by your mid-20s, there’s still one thing that you can’t wrap your head around: health insurance.

In 2015, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania wanted to find out how well (or not) millennials understood health insurance. These researchers observed and interviewed 30 college-educated adults, aged 19 to 30, as they tried to navigate the government’s online health insurance exchange, Healthcare.gov.

The general consensus: health insurance is a nightmare — and shopping for a plan is even worse! The majority of the study’s participants couldn’t explain key health insurance terms like “deductible” and “coinsurance,” and they sorely underestimated how much a typical plan would cost.

Plus, the participants weren’t happy with their insurance options on Healthcare.gov — not because they had limited options, but because they had too many to choose from!

You Need Health Insurance When You Turn 26

We know you don’t want to waste your time shopping around for the perfect health plan. But you don’t have a choice. First, health insurance coverage is required by law. And second, you can’t get covered through your parents after you turn 26. You have to enroll in your own health plan.

So, if health insurance is a must, how do you decide which plan to choose? And how do you get the best deal for it?

How To Get Health Insurance When You Turn 26

Normally, you can only buy health insurance during a three-month period called Open Enrollment. However, when you turn 26, you automatically qualify for the Special Enrollment Period. This is a window of time (typically 60 days before and after your birthday) when you can sign up for a plan that’s compliant with the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Whether you just turned 26 or your birthday is around the corner, you have time to find an affordable plan! Here’s how you can get health insurance when you turn 26.

1. Get A Job (Or Keep The One You Have)

If you get a full-time job, your employer might offer health insurance coverage. So problem solved! Just talk to your HR manager. Because you qualify for Special Enrollment, you’ll have about four months to sign up for a plan through your job.

If you miss that Special Enrollment window, or your employer doesn’t offer adequate health insurance coverage, you have two more ways to find coverage on your own.

2. Talk To An Independent Agent

Want unbiased advice from a health insurance professional? Try Regency West Insurance Services. At Regency West, we have access to the same plans and prices offered by Healthcare.gov and private insurance companies. Best of all, it’s completely free to use our services. You don’t pay anything to get expert advice from us! Just call us at (858) 699-0286 or fill out a contact form online.

3. Buy Directly From An Insurance Company

You also have the option buy a plan directly from an insurance carriers. Just go straight to their site, talk to one of their agents, and pick a plan.

But buyer beware: shopping for plans directly from a big-name insurance company is a risky move. It’s like eating at the most expensive chain restaurant in town, just because you recognize the name. Agents that work for a specific insurance company make commission off the plans they sell. If they know you need health insurance, they can upsell you on a plan you don’t need.

That’s why Regency West Insurance Services is the better way to pick a plan. Our team compares ACA-compliant plans (from multiple providers!) to find the best coverage for you.

You Can Get Help Paying For Your Plan!

Chances are, you aren’t raking in the big bucks yet. And even if you were, the last thing you want to spend your money on is health insurance. When you sign up for healthcare coverage, you might qualify for a subsidy — which means the government can help you pay for part of your health insurance bills!

Want to see if you qualify? Just talk to us at Regency West Insurance Services.

Get Free Help Picking The Right Plan

Like hangovers and credit card bills, health insurance is an inevitable part of growing up. But shopping for coverage doesn’t have to be as painful as the other unglamorous aspects of adulthood.

Get in touch with an insurance professional at Regency West Insurance Services. Our licensed agent will help you find a budget-friendly plan that won’t get in the way of your life!