Still Confused About Obamacare?

October 27th 2014

ATTN: Staff

Ever since the Affordable Care Act (aka: Obamacare) was implemented, millions of twenty-somethings throughout America are navigating the health insurance market for the first time. It can be a daunting experience, but we've done our best to make it simple. For starters: watch this video for the simplest explanation of Obamacare you've ever seen. 


Second, we've spoken to a resident expert, Adam Stalker, and asked him to weigh in on a few FAQs. Adam is the national digital director of Enroll America, a nonprofit organization focused on one goal: maximizing the number of Americans who are enrolled in and retain health coverage  

Q.  I just graduated from college and do not have a job yet. Am I guaranteed to get coverage under my parents plan? For how long? 

Well, that’s up to your parents. When is the last time you called your mother? 

The law allows you to stay on your parent’s plan until you turn 26. Depending on where you live, you may be able to stay on even longer. You could also see if you qualify for free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid (or whatever your state calls its program).

By the way, congrats on graduating and welcome to the real world. No one really knows what they’re doing, but health insurance doesn’t need to be the tricky part.

Q. I just turned 26. Am I automatically being kicked off my parents plan? What do I do next to make sure I remain covered? 

You might not get the boot right away, but it’s coming. Your coverage might end at the end of the month or at the end of the year or soon after, so it’s best to check with your plan to be sure. 

Luckily, losing coverage gives you a chance to sign up for your own plan -- just don’t put it off. You have 60 days after you lose coverage to get covered again. Just visit to learn how. 

Think of this as a chance to strike out on your own and show mom and dad how independent you are! Next up: move out of their house. You’ve got this.

Q. I'm in between jobs right now and no longer covered by my former employer. What should I do to make sure I get covered again while I find my next job?

Bummer -- sorry about that. You can shop around in the Marketplace to see if there’s a plan that’s right for you, or you could even see if you qualify for a free or low-cost plan through Medicaid. 

Q.   Is every employer required to offer me continued coverage for a period of time I leave my place of employment? Is that part of the federal law or can employers make their own decisions about how long to cover an employee once they leave the company?

Through COBRA, you may be able to stay on your employer’s plan for a while, but you’ll probably have to foot the bill. 

But here’s a tip: If you sign up through the Marketplace, you might be able to get help paying for your plan. More than 4 in 5 people who’ve already signed up got financial help. It could be a better deal for you than COBRA. So check it out!

Q. Are there upcoming deadlines I need to know about? Where can I get more information about the Affordable Care Act? 

You know it! The Marketplace is open from November 15th to February 15th (the day after Valentine’s Day). Remember those two dates. (Try not to forget about Valentine’s Day either.) This is your time to shop around and pick the plan that’s right for your needs and your wallet.

Get Covered America is a great resource. We’re basically health insurance wizards. Just sign up on our website, and we’ll send you messages on messages with all the info you need, along with reminders about deadlines.