My boyfriend just turned 18 and lost his health insurance. Where can get a health insurance policy?
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Asked May 1, 2012
The type of plans available depends on the insurance company and the state of residence. Group and individual health insurance plans are available, once he decides what type of policy best fits his needs. If he has preexisting conditions which make getting insurance more difficult, he can take in knowing that healthcare reform will make it possible for everyone to qualify for health insurance coverage, and those who purchases insurance through the workplace cannot be denied coverage for previous medical conditions already.
If your boyfriend is unemployed or unable to afford health insurance through his employer, he may be able to qualify for Medicaid, a government sponsored health plan. Qualification is based on income and ability to get coverage elsewhere, but it is worth looking into if he has problems finding conventional coverage. Additionally, all insurance companies will be required to accept people with preconceptions by 2014, so the number of choices is steadily rising while insurance policies change to meet the new laws.
If your boyfriend had coverage but lost his job, he is probably eligible to continue his old coverage for as much as 18 months under the COBRA Act of 1996. Under that law, your health insurance cannot be immediately terminated sole because of something like getting laid off or losing a job. Using COBRA insurance coverage means you have to pay the full premiums amounts, but it gives him the chance to continue his old coverage until he finds a new job with a new policy. In some cases, health insurance companies will allow COBRA policies to be converted to regular health coverage.
Finally, if he still lives at home with his parents and one of them has group health insurance, he can remain on that policy for as long as he lives at home or until he is 26 years old. The same reform that will require insurance companies to offer coverage for preexisting conditions also extends the time that children can remain on the policies of their parents.
Answered May 1, 2012 by Anonymous