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What are you doing with health insurance if your graduate assistantship does not come with it and you are over 26?


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I was wondering if anyone has experience with purchasing private or applying for public health insurance while on a GA-ship, if your assistant doesn't include it and you cannot get benefits by being on your parents' or your spouses' plan? For example, what type of insurance did you get or apply for? Was it good to use in your state?


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My spouse and I are international students. I am covered on my school's plan. For awhile, my spouse was not covered on the school's plan (they don't subsidize spouses so it was really expensive for some time). So, my spouse, who would be in a similar situation as you, purchased a plan through the ACA Marketplace in California ("CoveredCalifornia"). They got the "Silver" Plan, which costs about $250 per month and means you pay for about 30% (I think, on average) of all the costs. It was fine to use. Their total health insurance costs per year was around $4000 per year. I think this is a good amount to budget for if you are someone over 26 and have regular medical needs (i.e. see a doctor about 4 times per year, see a specialist 2-3 times per year, have regular medications). If you are really healthy and would only go for your free annual checkup, then you would likely only ever pay the premiums, so that would be around $3000 per year. 

These numbers are for California which is probably one of the more expensive states. Also, as international students, we aren't eligible for most of the government subsidy programs. As a graduate student (and American, it sounds like?), your grad student income might qualify you for benefits that can reduce this cost by a lot! Check out your state's programs.

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