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:

  • Married
  • 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.

Learn more about Young Adult Coverage and how someone can get covered when they turn 26 years old.

For More Information

Content created by Assist. Sec./Public Affairs - Digital Communications Division
Content last reviewed on August 14, 2014