Last updated on August 12th, 2013
It can be difficult to be a young person and be on the hunt for medical insurance. You might be a student or early in your career, and the cost of a decent plan can be more than you can afford. Fortunately, if you fall into certain categories, there are ways to get free health insurance. While not everyone will qualify for no cost insurance, it is worth looking into if you are having trouble paying for your medical needs. And don’t forget that due to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), or Obamacare as many people know it, there is a tax to be paid if you do not have an insurance plan. While the tax is small to begin with, eventually it will increase to be a significant expense.
Look at Your Parents’ Medical Plan
One of the key features of PPACA is the fact that a child can stay on their parent’s medical plan until the child reaches age 26. If your parent has a plan, there is a chance you can be added at no extra cost, but not necessarily. If your parent is on a plan on only covering himself or herself, then there will be a cost to add you. Or if both of your parents are on a plan with just the two of them, then there will probably be a cost to add you. However, if the plan that your parent has already includes another child, then adding you will most likely not add an additional premium cost.
Adding you to an existing plan can be a great way to receive free health insurance.
Check the Insurance Plan at Your Own Job
If you work at a place that offers you benefits, check the plan that you are offered at work before going elsewhere to look for free health insurance. While most employers require a premium contribution from their employees, some provide the insurance free of charge.
Free Health Insurance on the Health Insurance Exchanges
Beginning in 2014, PPACA created state-run health insurance exchanges. These exchanges are online marketplaces that allow the user to go on the Internet and comparison shop for the medical plan that best suits their needs.
In addition, PPACA has allowed for tax credits for low income earners if health insurance is bought through the exchange. If you earn less than 400% of the poverty level you are eligible for this subsidy. The lower your income, the higher the credit. The marketplaces will be able to determine online if you are eligible and can assist in reducing the monthly premium. If your income is low enough, you may be able to buy free health insurance.
Medicaid is a state-run program that assists low income households with medical assistance. If health insurance is difficult to afford, check with your state Medicaid program to find out details and your eligibility.
Free health insurance is not available to everyone, but if you take the time to look around you might be able to find coverage at little or no cost.