Getting Health Insurance for New College Grads

Last Updated Apr 30, 2010 1:17 PM EDT

If your child is graduating from college this spring, do you know where he or she will be getting health insurance coverage?

Thirty seven percent of seniors, according to a new survey, are uninsured the day after graduating from college.

For anxious parents, the recent passage of the landmark healthcare legislation is good news. Thanks to the new law, Americans who are under age 26 can re-enroll in a parent's health insurance plan.

If you anticipate your child returning to your health insurance coverage, here are four things that eHealthInsurance.com, a popular online resource for insurance, suggests that you need to do:

1. Find out how large your premium will be if you add your child to your coverage.

2. Next compare your premium increase with what your child would pay with his or her own individual health plan. Have your child obtain quotes from leading health insurers. Many young college graduates, according to eHealthInsurance.com, may be able to find an individual insurance policy for less than $70 a month.

3. Keep this in mind: adding a child back on your health insurance plan might not make financial sense if he or she lives out of state. Here's why: Most insurers operate in a single state and don't offer in-network providers beyond their coverage area. Your policy might cover 85% to 100% of a provider's bill, but may only cover 50% to 70% of costs generated elsewhere.

4. Check enrollment date options. Ask your insurance company if it will cover your child before September when the new young-adult insurance provisions kick in. Some insurers are letting college grads enroll earlier.

Lynn O'Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution and she also writes for TheCollegeSolutionBlog. Follow her on Twitter.

Health insurance image by a.drian. CC 2.0.

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