My daughter is about to graduate from college and doesn't
have a job. What should I do about her health insurance?
You can rest easy. Because of last year's health-reform law,
adult children no longer lose their coverage when they graduate;
instead, they can remain on their parents' health insurance
policies until age 26.
If you already have family coverage for other, younger children,
then you may not need to pay extra to keep your new grad on the
policy. But if you could otherwise scale back your policy to
coverage for a couple or just yourself, compare the cost of keeping
your child on the plan to the price of buying her own policy -- in
most states, a healthy twentysomething can get coverage for less
than $100 per month.
Buying a separate policy may also be a good choice if your kid
moves to a city with few in-network providers or hospitals that
participate in your health plan. You can get price quotes at
Raising the deductible to at least $1,200 can lower the cost and
qualify for a health savings account, where your child can amass
tax-free money for medical expenses in any year (you can even give
her some cash to get started). Because of the new law, some
preventive care must now be covered in many policies for free,
regardless of the deductible (see
6 Ways to Cash In on the Health Law
For more information about HSAs, see
What to Know About Health Savings Accounts
Health Savings Account Answers
Health Insurance for Adult Children
for the rules for keeping your daughter on your policy if she ends
up getting offered a job with inferior coverage.