Young Adult Coverage
Under the Affordable Care Act, if your plan covers children, you can now add or keep your children on your health insurance policy until they turn 26 years old.
What This Means for You
Before the health care law, insurance companies could remove enrolled children usually at age 19, sometimes older for full-time students. Now, most health plans that cover children must make coverage available to children up to age 26. By allowing children to stay on a parent's plan, the law makes it easier and more affordable for young adults to get health insurance coverage.
Children can join or remain on a parent's plan even if they are:
- Not living with their parents
- Attending school
- Not financially dependent on their parents
- Eligible to enroll in their employer’s plan
When Someone Turns 26
Under-26 coverage ends on a child’s 26th birthday. When a child loses coverage on their 26th birthday, they qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. This lets them enroll in a health plan outside Open Enrollment.
For More Information
- I’m Covered Stories: For this 26-er, Getting Insured Was a “No-Brainer”
- Report: Number of Young Adults Gaining Insurance Due to the Affordable Care Act Now Tops 3 Million.
- Read answers to frequently asked questions about young adults and the Affordable Care Act.
- Find detailed technical and regulatory information on this provision.
Content last reviewed on March 12, 2013