If you're seeking insurance built specifically for students and recent graduates, with plans from multiple major insurance providers, try www.gradguard.com


Seeking more traditional insurance?

Many guides recommend www.ehealthinsurance.com.

For our blog posting on 6/24, we looked into the following guides for recent graduates seeking insurance: 

1) L.A. Times--Recent Graduates: In the Market for Health Insurance?  
Key points:

A) Learn as much as you can about your coverage and the real costs of your plan (deductibles, copay, maximum lifetime benefits, etc.)
B) Consider COBRA as an insurance
C) Shop around--look at websites that offer insurance from multiple providers and allow you to choose the best one for you
D) Stay with big providers
E) Be wary of short-term plans and major medical, catastrophe-only plans.

2)  Kiplinger.com--Understand your Health Insurance Options  
Key points: Under the header of "What to Consider when Picking a Plan"
A) Consider cost and coverage and sync them with your own health insurance needs
B) Check on the quality of care--especially with your local insurance regulator

Key points: Under the header of "A Policy when You're on your own"/ "Health Insurance for College Grads"
A) Go online or use a broker
B) Check into COBRA, short-term, or know your state laws of when your coverage on family's insurance policy can legally expire.

3) CNN--What's a Recent College Graduate to do about Health Insurance?
Key points:

A) Know your state law of when your coverage on family's insurance policy can legally expire
B) Consider COBRA
C) Be wary of short-term policies
D) Shop around
E) Like many students in this economy, consider graduate school.

4) SF Gate--Health Insurance Tips for New College Graduates
Key points:

A) Don't go uninsured for long--it's dangerous and doing so could mean your rights under HIPAA expire
B) Look into continuation coverage and the exact time your coverage on your family's insurance policy can legally expire
C) Look into individual policies, including those designed for young adults or recent grads.  Make sure you know what coverage and cost your looking for
D) Look into public plans, both at the county, state and federal level. You may qualify for certain exemptions depending on variables like income level.

So, what should we make of these guides?

After reading all of these, I thought it would be wise to give the following list of links so that you may easily carry out these guides in your quest to be insured.

Important Links

1)  Where to buy insurance online:
--A site designed for grads and students who need insurance, containing offerings from many different health providers: www.gradguard.com
--A site recommended by the above articles: www.ehealthinsurance.com
--COBRA info: http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/health-plans/cobra.htm

2)  When your insurance legally expires:
--Check these sites:  State Health Facts Online  &  Health Insurance Dependent Status

3)  Guarding against insurance fraud and poor coverage records:
--Check for your state controller/regulator of insurance for information on your potential provider
--Check these articles for signs of fraud:  Consumer Reports (7 Signs a health plan might be junk)  &  InsuranceFraud.org (Phony health coverage- Scam Alerts, including 10 warning signs)

4)  Get past the many acronyms and jargon used in healthcare:
--If you don't understand something about insurance, try this website:  http://healthcarecoach.com/

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