HARRISBURG, Pa., May 11, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller today congratulated Pennsylvania's recent and soon-to-be college graduates and offered advice as they gain independence and enter the professional world.
"Graduating college is an exciting time. With this excitement comes many changes -- new freedoms, new careers, and even new homes," said Commissioner Miller. "For many of you, these new opportunities will bring choices that you've never faced before, including decisions on your health insurance coverage."
Last fall, Commissioner Miller issued a letter to college seniors explaining their options for health insurance coverage after graduation and key factors they need to consider before making any decisions.
Under the Affordable Care Act, dependents are permitted to stay on a parent's plan until they turn 26, though some plans may allow dependents to stay on until age 29. However, the cost of dependent coverage is rising on many health plans. It may be less expensive for a recent graduate to obtain their own coverage through an employer or through the individual market, especially if they purchase through Healthcare.gov and receive a subsidy to help pay their health insurance premium.
Commissioner Miller also urged recent graduates to consider their post-college plans when making a decision about their health insurance. If a graduate enters the workforce or is planning to relocate and continue their education, they may need to obtain their own health insurance coverage.
"The ability to stay on a parent's health insurance plan until you turn 26 can ease the transition from college to post-graduate life, but if you are moving to start a new job or pursue another degree, you might find yourself in an area that doesn't accept your current health insurance," said Commissioner Miller. "Choosing a plan can be confusing, but starting your research now can help ease the process when it's time to make a decision."
To help recent graduates and other Pennsylvanians looking to obtain health insurance make an educated decision, the Insurance Department recently revamped the Health section of its website to include more extensive content to help consumers understand health insurance and how to pick a plan. This content includes information on how to shop at Healthcare.gov, information for Pennsylvanians who get health insurance through their employer, and videos on how to shop for health insurance and how to use this coverage.
Commissioner Miller urged recent graduates and students who will be finishing college soon to take advantage of these resources and to contact the department if they have any questions.
"My department is here and happy to help so that when the time comes, you feel confident choosing the best plan for your needs," she said.
For more information on health insurance and how to select a plan, visit the Health section of the Insurance Department's website.
If you need help or would like to ask a question, the department's Bureau of Consumer Services can be reached at 1-877-881-6388 or online through the department's question and complaint service.
MEDIA CONTACT: Ali Fogarty, 717-787-3289
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Insurance Department