Young Adults and Cancer: Health Insurance

Here is what you need to know about health insurance as a young adult with cancer:

  • Many adults are uninsured, but you still have options.
  • Under the Affordable Care Act, young adults under 26 can stay on their parents’ insurance plan if they cannot get insurance through their own jobs.
  • Young adults can buy insurance through private companies. Some insurance carriers may turn down people or charge them more if they have a pre-existing condition. A pre-existing condition is an already known medical issue.
  • Sometimes you can get health benefits through your job or your spouse’s job.
  • Colleges and universities often offer student health insurance at a lower cost than private companies.
    • Be sure to check the student healthcare plans for limits on coverage.
    • Some require that you keep going to class. This may not be possible with cancer.
  • Young adults can now purchase health care plans through the government-run HealthCare Marketplace at healthcare.gov.

  • Catastrophic plans are available via the Health Insurance Marketplace. Catastrophic plans are for individuals under the age of 30 or low-income individuals over 30 who receive a waiver. Catastrophic plans have very low premiums which may make them seem like a good option. However, for a young adult with cancer, a catastrophic plan is probably not the best option.  These plans have very high deductibles. Deductibles are the amount of healthcare costs a patient must pay out-of-pocket before the insurance plan starts paying for care. A young adult cancer survivor will likely have many medical expenses so in most cases, it would be better to have a health insurance plan with a low deductible.

If you have any questions about your health insurance options, please contact the Cancer Supportive Services Team at PearlPoint Cancer Support at guidance@pearlpoint.org.

 

 

To learn more about young adult concerns, return to Young Adults and Cancer guidance page.