College students, like others, can purchase health insurance through the Obamacare exchanges that went live Oct. 1. But many students already have insurance through their parents or schools.
John Gress/ Reuters/ File
Many college students already have health insurance through their parents or schools. Now they have another option for health insurance: the new "exchanges," part of the Affordable Care Act, that went live on Oct. 1.
Here’s how the new option could affect college students in the United States.
What was the health-insurance landscape for college students before the exchanges went live?
Most colleges have required students to either purchase health insurance or continue enrollment in their parents’ plan. Under the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA), students have been able to stay on their parents’ health-insurance plan until age 26 – even if they are married or have coverage through an employer.
Beginning in 2014, college students, like others, will have to abide by the "individual mandate" in the ACA, which requires most people to obtain insurance or pay a tax penalty. That's where the exchanges could come in for students who aren't on their parents' plan and don't want to purchase insurance through their school.