Friday, June 16, 2017

With the start of summer and a wave of graduations for students across the country, June is a time of new beginnings and big transitions. Whether you are a recent graduate or facing some other big change in your life, transitions can open new doors of opportunity.

Some new graduates may face questions about what to do for insurance when they are no longer eligible for coverage under their parents’ insurance plans. These periods are called “health insurance gaps,” and they can happen to anyone.

What is a health insurance gap?

A health insurance gap may occur when a person leaves or loses eligibility under one health insurance plan and is not immediately covered by another plan. This can happen under many different circumstances. Insurance gaps may occur when someone loses employer-provided coverage after losing or quitting a job, loses insurance coverage under their spouse’s plan following a death or divorce, or after graduation renders them ineligible for coverage under a parent’s plan. Insurance gaps may also occur if someone chooses to end their coverage for any reason.

What if I just graduated, and I don’t have insurance?

You are not alone. Many recent graduates are faced with this exact predicament following graduation. Luckily there are ways to take advantage of free or low-cost resources for low-income, uninsured or underinsured patients who are facing insurance gaps and may need health care assistance.

How can I find free or nearly free prescription medicine?

If you are facing an insurance gap, it’s very important to continue taking any prescription medicines your doctor has prescribed to you. Skipping or missing prescription medicine doses could have negative health effects.

The Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA) is a free resource for finding free or low-cost prescription medicines. The search tool is easy to use. Simply type in the name of the prescription medicines you take and answer a few questions to be matched with patient assistance programs for which you may be eligible.

How can I find free or low-cost clinics?

Free or low-cost clinics are a crucial resource for patients who may be facing health insurance gaps. PPA offers a free resource for finding free and low-cost clinics near you. The tool is easy to use. Enter your address or ZIP code to search the database of free and low-cost clinics and find a nearby clinic.

Are there any other health care resources for recent grads?

Recent college graduates—and current students—have many health care resources available specifically for them. Everyone faces a time in their life when they must decide how to deal with changes. HealthCare.gov has an excellent blog post detailing health coverage specifically for recent graduates.

If you or someone you love struggles with affordable access to medicines, there are resources available that may be able to help: The Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA) helps connect patients with patient assistance programs that provide free or nearly free prescription medicines. For more information, visit www.pparx.org.