WPS Health Insurance Blog

Children can get coverage under their parents’ health plan until age 26

Posted by Ryan Kanable

Oct 22, 2013 9:00:00 AM

Young adultsUnder the Affordable Care Act (ACA), young adults are allowed to stay on a parent’s family health plan until they reach the age of 26.

So while it may sometimes be hard to get them out of the nest, at least you know they can get health insurance. Whether they live with you or not, your children can get coverage under your health insurance plan if a couple of conditions are met.

First, your plan has to allow dependent coverage. That means you need a family health plan, not an individual plan.

Second, if your insurance is through your employer, your child must not have access to his own job-based insurance. That is, he must be a student, unemployed, or work where insurance isn’t offered. If he’s got a job and can get insurance through his employer, he must choose that option. However, this limitation goes away in 2014. For 2014 health plans, your children can sign up during your health plan’s open enrollment period (which is likely coming up soon) even if they are married, not living with you, attending school, not financially dependent on you, or eligible to enroll in their employer’s plan.

If the required criteria are met, your child can be covered by your policy until he turns 26. It’s an easy way to get young people the coverage they need and avoid the penalty tax.

Once your kids hit 26, though, they’re off your policy for good.

To find out more about coverage options and other ACA-related topics, take a look at our new Health Care Reform Information Center, our Learning Center, or check out our free brochure, 9 Things You Need to Know About the Affordable Care Act.

Topics: health insurance