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Grads and Parents May Differ on Health Insurance after College

By on May 17th, 2011
Filed: Facts, Families, Graduation, Health Insurance, You, Young Adults

A provision of the health reform law that went into effect last year allows children to stay covered under their parents’ health insurance plans until age 26. This was praised as a real game-changer for a chronically uninsured population: young adults and college grads. With such a great benefit, one might assume that all college grads would stick with Mom and Dad’s health insurance plan after graduation – especially since, in today’s economy, they couldn’t count on a job with benefits right away.

A new survey sponsored by eHealthInsurance and conducted by Kelton Research has shown that this may not be the case for all families. According to the survey, nearly four in ten parents (38%) do NOT plan to keep their adult children on their health insurance plan until age 26, despite the fact that the 2010 health care reform law now allows them to do so.

When you consider that an estimated 3.3 million college degrees will be awarded this year, that means that hundreds of thousands of students are still potentially on their own when it comes to health insurance this summer.

So what can these new college grads do to find coverage? The fact is that most new college grads (since they tend to be young and healthy) do have options. Here at Get Smart – Get Covered we did a series of blog posts recently to help new grads and their parents understand those health insurance options, and to provide them with health insurance tips.

A couple more interesting numbers from the survey illustrating some possible friction between parents and grads on these issues:

  • More than four in ten parents (43%) with students or grads under age 26 said they would only keep their kids on their plan if it cost them nothing to do so.
  • However, nearly two thirds of current college students (63%) think it’s fair for parents to help them cover their health insurance costs for a year or more after graduation.

To dig deeper, download the PDFs for full top-line results from the surveys of students and grads and parents.

Additional resources for 2011 college grads at Get Smart – Get Covered include:

Photo via Flickr user miss karen

About Carrie McLean


Carrie McLean has been in the health insurance field for 7 years and is licensed in all 50 states. She is often seen in the media discussing health insurance trends and issues from an insider’s perspective and as a consumer advocate, having personally helped thousands of individuals and families search for and find affordable health insurance.

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