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Up until now, health insurance has been something you just kind of…had! But after graduation, all that changes. In this article, we cover everything you should know about health insurance, from when to secure it to why you should seriously consider getting your own plan, and beyond. (We also explain why waiting for your future employer to cover you isn’t the best idea!) Our goal: help you take care of your own medical needs without stress or expensive bills!
Congratulations! You’ve finished your schooling and you’re ready to get out into the working world. But as exciting as the present is, it’s important to look out for future you, too. We know this may not always be the most fun thing to do—especially because you just spent two or more years looking forward! But trust us when we say you’ll thank yourself later.
One way to look out for your future self is to register for your own health insurance plan. Why? Well, there’s a good chance that your current health coverage cuts off as soon as your student status changes. Using your parents’ plan? That’ll end as soon as you walk across the stage, too! (Typically you only qualify as a dependent under your parents’ plan if you’re in school full-time and under 25—but check your parents’ plan for specifics as policies do vary.)
To save money, some new grads skip the “get health insurance” step and instead wait until they get a full-time job with a group health and dental plan. But we don’t recommend this for you. Here’s why:
Because you may not find yourself in a full-time position—even in a role where a group plan is offered—right away. Many employers put limitations around their health insurance where the part-time, contract and brand-new employees have different or no access to benefits.
Another con? Your future employer’s group health plan (providing they have one you can access) may not line up with your needs. And if this is the case for you, instead of saving you money, putting off buying health insurance will only leave you with costly bills you thought were covered—but are now coming out of your pocket.
We all like to think we’re indestructible, but one of the not-so-fun realities of life is that things pop up when we least expect them. Waiting to get covered could leave you in a lurch when you need your insurance the most.
For health insurance policies, a major factor when it comes to determining your monthly rates and eligibility is your current health status. If you’re currently healthy, getting coverage now allows you to lock in lower rates and insure your insurability in the future—even if you get sick down the road.
Every policy is different, and every new grad’s situation is, too. We’re answering some nitty-gritty FAQs to get you the information you need most:
Every policy is a bit different, but typically, no. Most students qualify as a dependent under their parents’ insurance plan while they’re in school full-time and 25 or younger. In that case, once you A) finish school or B) celebrate your 26th birthday, you’re no longer covered under their plans. The same typically goes for any insurance policies offered through post-secondary education institutions.
25 is most common, but be sure to check with your parents’ specific plan as every policy is different.
Unfortunately, yes, that’s pretty much how it happens! Most insurance providers stop classifying you as a dependant after the age of 25. So once you hit 26, you lose coverage right away.
Once again, specific dependant coverage changes policy to policy. Most often, though, as long as you’re a full-time student and 25 years or younger, you should be eligible for coverage.
No, not typically. But the good news is that it’s super beneficial to buy your own insurance while you’re young and healthy! Premiums will be lower, you’re less likely to face exclusions, you’ll develop stronger financial and spending habits, and you’ll feel really good knowing you’re covered thanks to you. So even though securing health insurance is an extra to-do right now, try to see it as a good thing! Something you’re doing for future you.
Being off your parent’s insurance can give you a sense of freedom, but it also opens the door for A LOT of questions and unknowns.
That’s why we created a free Guide To Insurance For Manitobans in their 20s and 30s for young adults like you! In this simple, easy-to-read guide, we break down all the insurance policies that we recommend you take advantage of while you’re young and healthy so you can capitalize on better premiums, have more choices, get better spending habits, and set yourself up for success.
There are health insurance options tailored to every new graduate’s budget and lifestyle. Sometimes there are even additional savings and discounts available for you as a new grad! So even though you might shop around a little, rest assured that there’s a plan out there that’s perfect for you.
A personal health plan that covers your medical and dental needs is an excellent first start. But if you can, this is also a fantastic time to look into additional life and Critical Illness plans (because again, the earlier you buy, typically the better your coverage and the cheaper your rates will be!). Remember, your health can change at any time, so getting insurance down the road isn’t always a sure thing.
Depending on your field of study, association plans may be available once you graduate. These help you save money just by being associated with a particular group. Typically, association plans are tailored to new graduates in the fields of medicine, law, and pharmacy, but they can include other associations too, so it’s always best to ask.
Tip: Look into association plans before you graduate if you can, to be sure you don’t miss out on any potential savings!
👆 This will be you once we get your new health insurance!
We get it. Looking into and purchasing health insurance is a little intimidating. And, it’s not exactly one of the highlight-reel moments of getting out into the real world! We also get that you’re in a time of your life where a lot of new things are being thrown at you—many of them stressful.
We want to help you make solid decisions now that carry you through your first few years in the workforce and beyond. Just imagine how good it will feel to know you’re not only covered—but that you’re covered by insurance you found, bought, and paid for yourself!
We’re here to help you make it happen!