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Reaching your 26th birthday is a significant milestone, often accompanied by changes like finishing school, starting a career, or moving out on your own. One important aspect of this transition is ensuring you have continuous health coverage, as you will need to move off your parent's insurance plan. Understanding your options and planning ahead can help you avoid unexpected medical expenses.

What Happens to Your Health Coverage at 26?

Under current regulations, you can stay on your parent's health insurance until you turn 26. This has provided many young adults with necessary health coverage during their early adult years. However, once you hit this age, you'll need to find your own health plan.

When you turn 26, a special enrollment period begins. This means you have a limited time to sign up for a new health plan without waiting for the annual open enrollment period. Knowing your options ahead of time will help you smoothly transition to your own coverage.


How to Transition to Your Own Health Plan

Here are some steps to consider when moving to your own health plan:

  1. Assess Your Health Needs: Consider your medical history, any prescriptions you take, and your preferred doctors or healthcare facilities. This will help you choose a plan that meets your needs.

  2. Compare Plans: Look at the costs and benefits of different health plans, including monthly payments, deductibles, and what each plan covers.

  3. Employer-Sponsored Plans: If you have a job, check if your employer offers health insurance. These plans often provide good coverage at a lower cost because your employer pays part of the premium.

  4. Marketplace Plans: If you don't have access to employer-sponsored insurance, you can shop for a plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace. These plans vary in cost and coverage, and you might qualify for financial help based on your income.

  5. Act Quickly: The special enrollment period after your 26th birthday is typically only 60 days, so it's important to choose and sign up for a plan quickly to avoid a gap in coverage.


Health Care Sharing: An Alternative Option

One option worth considering is health care sharing, especially if you are looking for an affordable community-based approach to managing health expenses. Organizations like OneShare Health offer health care sharing programs where members contribute to each other’s medical costs. This can be a cost-effective alternative to traditional health insurance, providing access to quality care and significant savings.


Why Health Care Sharing Can Be a Good Choice for Young Adults

Health care sharing programs can be particularly beneficial for young adults who are moving off their parent's health plans. These Programs typically have lower monthly contributions compared to traditional insurance premiums. They also foster a sense of community, as members support each other’s health needs.

If your 26th birthday is coming up and you're exploring your health coverage options, OneShare Health can help. We offer a range of Programs tailored to fit your needs, including our Classic and Catastrophic Programs, which provide comprehensive and affordable health care sharing solutions.

Don't wait until the last minute—reach out to us today to learn more about how OneShare Health can support your transition. Give us a call or request a custom quote to see how our community-based approach can benefit you. We’re here to help you make the best choice for your health and well-being.


OneShare Health

Written by OneShare Health

Answering all your questions regarding medical cost sharing and healthcare and keeping you up to date on our Health Care Sharing Ministry.