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College Students and the Affordable Care Act

Are you graduating soon? Congratulations on the crowning achievement to your hard work and dedication! Facebook reminded me this morning that it was three years ago today that I graduated from the University of South Carolina with my Masters.

Health insurance may not be in your purview during these next few weeks, but if you are about to lose your student health insurance coverage or are turning 26 you may need to consider your options.

A Special Enrollment Period is when a person has an opportunity to enroll in health insurance outside of the established open enrollment period because they meet certain criteria. Losing student health insurance is one of those special circumstances, so is turning 26 and aging off your parent's health insurance plan.

Though open enrollment has ended, you have 60 days from the date you lose your school-based insurance (or turn 26) to visit healthcare.gov and enroll in a plan, if you choose.

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) everyone is required to have health insurance for nine or more months during 2015 or pay a penalty. That penalty is $325 or 2% of your annual income (whichever is greater) and will be paid when you file your taxes next year.

If you have already been offered a job, be sure to ask about your benefits. If you’re under the age of 26, see if your parents are willing to keep (or add) you to their plan. However, if you don’t fall in either of these categories, consider what options you may have under the ACA.

Have questions or want to sit down one-on-one with a Certified Navigator to see what your options are? You can contact Lee Patterson by phone at 231-6383 or email to set up an appointment.

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