Category Archive

2022 September

Aging Out: Finding Insurance At 26

With the passage of the ACA, health plans and insurers that offer dependent child coverage are legally required to let children under the age of 26 stay on their parents’ health care plan, regardless of whether the adult children have gotten married, had a child of their own, or are no longer tax dependents.

After their 26th birthday, however, in most cases adult children are no longer eligible for their parents’ plans. If you have a child who is nearing 26, now is the time to help them take steps toward getting their own healthcare benefits.

If you live in Florida, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, or Wisconsin, you may have a little more time. These states allow your adult child to apply for a health insurance rider, which would allow them to remain on your insurance a while longer. The rider requirements and extensions vary by state – see HERE for more information.

If you don’t live in one of those states, or your child is not eligible for a rider, and you have employer-sponsored health insurance, your child has until the end of the month that they turn 26 to sign up for a plan of their own. There are several options for your child:

Employer-sponsored coverage: if your child works full-time (or even part-time, in some instances), they are likely eligible for their company’s health insurance plan.

School coverage: many universities offer student health insurance coverage, so if your child is attending a university, they should check out this option.

Private health insurance: your child can check out any healthcare provider to see what private plans they offer, though these can be more expensive than employer- or state-sponsored plans.

State/federal health insurance: your child may seek coverage through their state health insurance marketplace or the federal marketplace. After turning 26, they will have a special enrollment period of 60 days to sign up for a plan through their state health insurance marketplace.

This transition can seem like a stressful venture, but it doesn’t have to be. Researching the best option ahead of time will make this process much easier for you and your adult child.

Health Insurance Coverage For Children and Young Adults Under 26 |
Turning 26: Health Insurance Guide for Those Aging Off Their Parents’ Plan –

Pushing Past Implicit Bias

None of us like to think of ourselves as prone to bias — subconscious or conscious judging others based on any number of stereotypes we have internalized.

Nevertheless, it is important for a fair, healthy, and functioning society (and workplace) for us to think about the way that we think about others. While race and sex tend to be the best-known types of biases, bias can be based on personal appearance, age, religion, and many other factors.

It’s important to note that bias does not equate to moral failure. We all have unconscious biases. This stems in part from the human need to sort things into different mental boxes. This organization is not in itself intrinsically good or bad, but it can lead to us unfairly associating certain traits with certain people based off stereotypes or ideas by which we make judgments. Our unconscious biases may even run counter to the beliefs that we actually hold, but sometimes we act on them anyway (hence, “unconscious” bias).

The good news is that there are ways for us to overcome our implicit individual biases. To start, we must cultivate self-awareness – we must recognize that we have implicit biases and uncover what they are specifically (this test is a helpful place to start). Experts in the field note that we are more likely to act on our implicit biases when things are moving quickly, so taking a moment to slow down and think about why you feel a certain way about someone is crucial to unraveling bias. Click HERE to learn more about personal and systemic bias.

Ups And Downs: Understanding Bipolar Disorder

Have you ever seen someone struggle to make a decision, change their mind in rapid succession, and laugh it off, saying “I’m so bipolar”?

While that label can get thrown around casually, bipolar disorder is a very real and sometimes dangerous condition. A basic overview can help us understand the condition’s symptoms and effects on everyday life.

The key features of this disorder are cycling periods of mania (or hypomania, which is less intense than mania) and depression. Manic periods are characterized by euphoria, recklessness, energy, and restlessness. People experiencing mania or hypomania are more likely to make risky decisions, not sleep enough, and have trouble focusing.

Depressive periods are characterized by disinterest in life, sadness, loss of energy, lack of appetite, and even sometimes suicidal ideation (see HERE and HERE for more on depression). The symptoms are broadly the opposite of manic symptoms but can impact one’s daily life just as severely.

There are several disorders in this cluster that are all characterized to varying extents by these periods of mania, hypomania, and depression. The good news is that bipolar disorders are treatable, most often through a combination of medication and therapy. If any of these symptoms sound familiar to you and are impacting your life, talk to your doctor. There is no shame in seeking help.

If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or text HOME to 741741 to chat with a crisis counselor.

Pearly Whites

It’s easy to see photos of celebrities and models with brilliant white teeth and want that for ourselves. There are many methods that purport to lift the color of our teeth by removing stains, but some of them are safer – and more effective – than others.

Brush your teeth with a paste made of baking soda and water (or use a toothpaste that contains sodium bicarbonate). After a few weeks, the baking soda will gently remove stains from your teeth. Limiting intake of staining beverages such as coffee, tea, and red wine will help your teeth stay whiter.

There are many charcoal-based products to lighten teeth. However, a recent study shows that charcoal does not remove tooth stains. Charcoal can actually harm your teeth over time by wearing down the top layer of your enamel.

There are over-the-counter toothpastes and whitening trays that contain hydrogen peroxide, which gradually whitens your teeth. Look for products that contain the American Dental Association’s seal of approval and follow the instructions for the best results. There are some possible side effects, such as sensitive teeth and gum irritation.

Professional teeth whitening is also an option, and likely the safest bet. Talk to your dentist about what option is best for you.