Coins representing the cheapest health insurance options available.

5 Ideas for Cheap Health Insurance for Young Adults





Finding the cheapest health insurance options available can seem like an overwhelming task.  There are numerous insurance companies to search through as well as a long list of plan types to enroll in.  What can make the task harder is finding the time to research and sign up for the plans.  At the end of the day, though, you need to have good coverage at an affordable price.  Here are the best ways to find low cost medical insurance and the cheapest health insurance for young adults.

Short-Term Health Insurance

Between jobs, or just need to make sure you have some low-cost health coverage during a certain point in your life?  Short-term health insurance may be the best thing for you.

Short-term health insurance plans are generally less expensive than qualified major medical health plans, but they do not offer the same level of coverage and usually do not cover pre-existing conditions. They also do not cover the minimum essential coverage of Obamacare, so a short-term plan will not get you off the hook for paying the individual mandate penalty.

Having said all that, short-term plans are a really good idea if you want an inexpensive plan for a short period. Just make sure you understand – and are ok with – the fine print.

Need help finding a great short-term plan? Get a quick and easy quote here.

Medicaid

Medicaid is a government program that helps people with low incomes receive medical services.  Medicaid is administered by the states, and eligibility varies depending on where you live.  The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), or Obamacare as it is commonly known, expanded Medicaid, making it easier to enroll.  If Medicaid is something you think you might qualify for, check out your state’s Medicaid website.  Medicaid isn’t the cheapest health insurance, because it is not technically insurance, but it helps pay for the cost of health care needs.

Health Insurance Marketplaces

The health insurance marketplaces, or exchanges as they were first labeled, will not be the cheapest health insurance for everyone, but it can be for some people.  The Affordable Care Act provides tax credits for individuals that makes less than 400% of the federal poverty level.  The credits are graded based on income, and if you are eligible for the subsidy, the marketplaces can be great places to find cheap medical insurance.

Like Medicaid, the marketplaces are administered by the states.  However, not every state participates.  In that case, residents can use the federal exchange.  You can find your state’s exchange here.

To enroll in a Marketplace plan, go here.



Your Parent’s Medical Plan

Another benefit of the Affordable Care Act is that young adults are able to be enrolled in their parent’s medical insurance plan until age 26.  This can be advantageous because many times there is not a huge rate increase to add a child.  If your parent(s) already have another child enrolled in the plan, you can probably be added with no additional cost.  Many group plans have an Employee + Child(ren) rate tier, meaning that a subscriber can add multiple children for the same rate.  The same goes if your parent is in an Employee + Family rate tier.

Not only could this be the cheapest health insurance option, it can also be a free health insurance option.

Catastrophic Health Insurance

You have to be careful with catastrophic health insurance.  On one hand, the premiums will be lower than a plan with lower deductibles and copays.  However, if you have a claim, you will be required to pay more out of pocket expenses.  But if you are looking to at least have some coverage, and you are lucky enough to not have many claims, catastrophic coverage might be the cheapest health insurance available.

Your Employer’s Plan

This option is not available to anyone, but if you are offered a health insurance plan by your employer, it might be the cheapest health insurance that you can get.  Employers that offer group coverage will usually subsidize the cost of the employee’s health insurance premium, many times paying 100% of the cost.  What they pay for dependents, though, is usually a much higher amount.

In addition, PPACA caps the most a company can charge a worker for the employee portion of the premium at 9.5% of the employee’s salary.  This equates to about $89 per month for a minimum wage worker that works 30 hours per week.

Health insurance costs continue to increase, but these options will help you find cheap health insurance for young adults.



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Health Insurance Marketplaces for Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington

Most of the Pacific coasts states will run their own state health insurance marketplace.  Residents of those states can go to the following sites to enroll in the exchange.

Information is accurate as of March 21, 2016.  Will be updated as needed.

Alaska – Will enroll in Federal Exchange

CaliforniaCovered California

HawaiiHawaii Health Connector

Oregon – Will enroll in Federal Exchange

WashingtonWashington Healthplanfinder

Can’t find your state?  Click on your region of the United States:

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Health Insurance Marketplaces for Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas

These 4 southern states will all default to the federal exchange.  The links below will take residents of Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas to where they need to go to enroll in the exchange.

Information is accurate as of August 13, 2013.  Will update as needed.

Arkansas – Will enroll in Federal Exchange

Louisiana – Will enroll in Federal Exchange

Oklahoma – Will enroll in Federal Exchange

Texas – Will enroll in Federal Exchange

Do you not see your state?  Check out other regions of the United States:

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Health Insurance Marketplaces for Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin

All of these Midwestern states will default to the federal exchange.  Residents of these states will need to visit the federal marketplace to enroll.

Information is accurate as of August 13, 2013.  Will update as needed.

Illinois – Will enroll in the Federal Exchange

Indiana – Will enroll in the Federal Exchange

Michigan – Will enroll in the Federal Exchange

Ohio – Will enroll in the Federal Exchange

Wisconsin – Will enroll in the Federal Exchange

Don’t see your state?  Check out other U.S. regions:

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Health Insurance Marketplaces for Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee

3 of these 4 southeastern states will default to the federal exchange.  Kentucky is the lone exception.  Kentucky residents will have their own marketplace with which to enroll.  Visit the links below to enroll in the health insurance exchange in your state.

Information is accurate as of August 13, 2013.  Will be updated as needed.

Alabama – Will enroll in Federal Exchange

KentuckyKynect

Mississippi – Will enroll in Federal Exchange

Tennessee – Will enroll in Federal Exchange

Is your state not listed here?  Check out the other United States regions:

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