How does insurance work?

Medical appointments, procedures, and equipment can be very expensive and can add up quickly, especially if you have complex healthcare needs. Most people cannot afford their medical expenses out of pocket. This is where insurance comes into play. By paying a monthly premium to an insurance company, that insurance company agrees to pay a certain amount of your medical costs. The amount that the insurance company did not agree to pay is called your copay, which you are responsible to pay. Without health insurance, most people with disabilities could not afford their medical costs and could potentially face bankruptcy.

There are many forms of medical insurance that have different qualification criteria. The different types of insurance and their costs can become very confusing. Through this resource topic, you will be guided through the different types of insurance, how they interact together, and what you, as a person with a disability, often have to do.

Typically, there is a trade-off between your premium amount and your level of coverage that you will need to evaluate.

If you are 26 years old or younger you may be able to stay on your parents’ insurance even if you have a job. Before turning 26, you will need to work with your parents’ insurance to see if this is an option; if it is, fill out the necessary paperwork. You will also be required to have your doctors provide the necessary documentation to prove your medical needs/eligibility. However, this means you will have to live at home and be deemed a dependent. Eligibility is also based on your employment situation. Keep in mind that every insurance company varies.

If you want to move out of your parents’ home, you may be allowed to stay on your parents’ insurance for up to 36 months after you turn 26 years old. You will need to begin this process before you turn 26 and again work with your parents’ insurance to determine if your circumstances qualify and if so, fulfill the required documentation. If you qualify for this extension, you will be required to pay an additional premium upon what your parents currently pay. You may want to look into state insurance to determine if purchasing state insurance is a better cost option.