College Graduate Health Care Options, Special Enrollment Period

Published on May 29, 2014

College students and recent graduates have several options for finding coverage in the Health Insurance Marketplace®.

1. Special Enrollment Periods for College Grads

If your student health plan is ending, you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period to sign up for private health insurance in the Marketplace.

See if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.

You may also be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period if you get married or divorced, have a baby or adopt a child, move to a new area, age off of a parent’s plan, or experience another


2. Medicaid and CHIP coverage

You can enroll in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) any time of year. If you qualify you can enroll immediately.

Learn how to apply for Medicaid and CHIP.

Medicaid and CHIP provide health coverage for some individuals, families and children, pregnant women, the elderly with certain incomes, and people with disabilities. In some states the program covers all adults below a certain income level.

3. Coverage on a parent’s plan

You may also be able to get covered under a parent’s health insurance plan until you turn 26. This is true even if you are married, not living at home, or not financially dependent on your parents.

4. Catastrophic coverage

If you’re under 30, whether you’re a college graduate or not, you can buy a catastrophic health plan. These plans are an affordable way to protect yourself from the high costs of worst-case scenarios, like an accident or serious illness. They cover 3 primary care visits per year before you meet your deductible, as well as certain preventive care benefits.

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