Life evolves the same way that it has for you, your parents, your parents’ parents. For Millennials, life is evolving in the same way … just later. Millennials are marrying later, starting families later, moving out of the house later (eMarketer – “Millennials Delay Marriage and Kids, but Are Still Eager to Become Homeowners”). Now, there are a lot skeptics, pundits, haters that are calling this delayed maturity or helicopter parenting (WSJ – “Blame It on Mr. Rogers: Why Young Adults Feel So Entitled”). But the reality is that Millennials graduated college in a perfect storm – economic recession, lack of entry-level jobs, Boomers delaying retirement, and loaded with student debt. They had little options but to survive under our safety net as parents.
While the Affordable Care Act (ACA), affectionately know as ObamaCare, requires everyone to have insurance or face a penalty, either 2.5% adjusted gross income or $695, the ACA has a key benefit for us and our adult children. Thanks to ObamaCare, your child can stay on your health insurance until they turn 26. The good news is that your child will still have healthcare coverage. The bad news is that your child’s 26th birthday is coming up and you don’t have a clue of what to do.
Don’t lose any more sleep. When your child turns 26, here are your options:
- Your Child’s Employer: If your son or daughter works in Corporate America, congratulations! Most employers offer varying forms of health insurance for individuals or families. While I can’t say that every company’s health insurance is comprehensive and right for your son or daughter’s unique needs, it is definitely the simplest solution. Encourage, nag, bribe your child to contact their HR Department. Do this as soon as possible because some employers only conduct health insurance enrollment once a year.
- The Government: Obamacare, Medicare, Medicaid, Bronze, Silver, Gold – there are so many terms being to learn. Bottom line, your child has options in the “Health Insurance Marketplace” (www.healthcare.gov). There are minimalist options if your daughter never gets sick or more-complete plans if your son comes home with a cough and is terrified that WebMD told him he has lung cancer. And one important tip is that turning 26 qualifies for a “Special Enrollment Period,” which means that your son or daughter has 60 days to sign up online once they turn 26. Otherwise, the annual enrollment period lasts only from November 1 to January 31. So if your child misses it, then they’re screwed.
- None of the Above: If your child is self-employed, works for a small business, or is a professional freelancer, there’s still hope! Often, small businesses are too small to have their own health insurance plan because their rates would be astronomical. If your daughter’s company only has 5 employees or she’s self-employed, then she may not be able to even afford the insurance rates. When this is the case, there are options, like co-employment, which pools together individuals and small businesses into a larger group, in order to negotiate better rates. Think Costco where you buy in bulk and save. At CMax Advisors, we started a program, specifically geared to small businesses, self-employed, and freelancers to help them receive affordable coverage and business support.
In conclusion, help your child avoid the penalty for being uninsured. They probably don’t realize that they need insurance and probably don’t know where to start. The above options are available to everyone.
ObamaCare Facts – Turning 26, When Should I Apply for ObamaCare?