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How New Grads Can Buy Health Insurance

New college graduates can stay on their parent's health insurance plans, but they should check out a few other options before they do so.

Question:

My daughter just graduated from college and doesn’t yet have a job that offers health insurance. She’s going to be moving to a different state. Can she stay on my insurance?

Answer: She can stay on your policy until age 26, but check whether your plan has in-network providers in her new state. If she goes out of network, she may pay a higher deductible and co-payments, or she may have no coverage except in emergencies. She could also buy a policy through her new state’s insurance exchange. (Healthcare.gov has links to exchanges.) If she’s not financially dependent on you, she may qualify for a government subsidy to help pay premiums. Subsidies are available to singles earning up to $48,240 in 2018.

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Or she could get a “catastrophic plan,” available to people younger than 30, which offers low premiums but higher deductibles and no subsidy. Catastrophic policies sold on eHealthInsurance.com last year cost an average of $201 per month, says Lisa Zamosky, of eHealthInsurance.

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