How Long Can You Remain Covered by Your Parents' Health Insurance?

How Long Can You Remain Covered by Your Parents' Health Insurance?

Most children can remain on their parent's insurance coverage until they reach the age of 26. Current federal law allows you to stay on your parent's insurance policy until you turn 26, and certain state laws allow you to stay on even longer. It's critical to learn how to get a policy and the type of plan that will best suit your needs when it's time to get your coverage. Some plans have lower premiums, while others cover more medical expenses. But, even if you're young and healthy, it's critical that you keep your health insurance coverage.

Important Points to Remember

  • Whether unmarried or married, children can remain on their parent's insurance until they reach the age of 26.
  • For disabled dependents, some states extend the deadline indefinitely.
  • Once your parent's insurance no longer covers you, you have a variety of healthcare options.

When Your Parents' Health Insurance will no longer cover you

According to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a parent's health insurance plan must cover children until they are 26 if the parent's plan covers dependents, according to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). According to the Department of Labor, the rule applies to unmarried and married children, as well as all forms of health insurance, including employer-sponsored coverage.
  • You can also stay on your parent's plan if you meet the following criteria:
  • Whether you go to college or drop out, the choice is yours.
  • Adopt or give birth to a child
  • Remove yourself from your parents' home.
  • Aren't listed on your parents' tax returns as a dependant
  • Refuse an offer of health insurance from your work.
Tip: If your parents have health insurance via the marketplace, you can stay till December 31 of the year in which you turn 26 or until your state's insurance code allows you to.

Some states have raised the legal drinking age to 21

Some states follow the ACA's age-26 regulation. In contrast, others have laws that enable you to stay on your parent's health insurance policy for a longer period of time—but only under particular circumstances. Despite exceptions, healthcare laws are subject to repeal or amendment in the following states.

Exceptions to the Dependent Age Limit


Unmarried dependents without children who live with their parents or who are students can stay with their parents until they turn 30.


Disabled dependents who are unable to sustain themselves have no age limit.


There is no age limit for dependents who are disabled.


Dependents of soldiers can be up to 30 years old.


Disabled dependents who are unable to sustain themselves have no age limit.


For disabled dependents and full-time students, there is no age limit.


Disabled dependents who are unable to sustain themselves have no age limit.


There is no age limit for dependents who are disabled.


Disabled dependents who are unable to sustain themselves have no age limit.


There is no age limit for disabled dependents who cannot support themselves.

New Jersey

Unmarried dependents with no dependents up until the age of 30.

New York

For unmarried dependents who live in New York until they reach the age of 29. Unmarried, disabled dependents who cannot support themselves do not have an age limit.


For disabled dependents who are unable to work independently, there is no age limit.


Disabled children have no age limit.


For those without dependents who are residents of Pennsylvania and are under the age of 29, or for full-time students without dependents who are residents of Pennsylvania until they reach the age of 29. Full-time students in the National Guard or reservists who leave school due to deployment are eligible for up to the duration of their assignment.

Rhode Island

Disabled dependents have no age limit.

South Carolina

For disabled dependents who are unable to work independently, there is no age limit.

South Dakota

Full-time students can continue until they are 29 years old. There is no upper age limit for disabled dependents who are unable to support themselves.


Full-time students under the age of 27 who are called to federal active duty in the National Guard or reserves have no age limit.

Options for Young People's Health Insurance

You have a few options if you've reached the age of retirement and need to locate new health insurance.

Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance is a type of health insurance that an employer provides

Some companies provide group health insurance to their employees. A group plan is one in which your employer selects the plan and often pays a portion of your premium. Some group plans restrict the doctors and hospitals from whom you can seek care, and you may not be able to keep the same coverage if you change jobs. Important: In 2021, the average cost of employer-sponsored coverage for a single person was $7,739 and $22,221 for a family. Workers typically pay 17 percent of the cost of single coverage and 27 percent of the cost of family coverage, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The Marketplace for Health Insurance

Individuals who do not have health insurance through their employer can acquire it in the marketplace. Subsidies are given to many market participants, lowering their premiums. or your state's marketplace are both good places to look for information and buy insurance. You can apply during "open enrollment" periods, which normally run from November 1 to January 15. Note that some insurance firms provide short-term health insurance policies that provide basic health coverage but do not adhere to ACA regulations. If you aren't qualified for marketplace insurance, these reasonably inexpensive plans can serve as a stopgap. Preexisting conditions may be denied coverage under short-term policies.


Workers with employer-based health insurance can keep their benefits under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). COBRA coverage is only accessible in the event of a qualifying event, such as a job loss, a reduction in work hours, the policyholder's death, or the policyholder's divorce. COBRA coverage is also extended to dependent children until they reach the age of 26 under the Affordable Care Act. Although COBRA can assist bridge the gap if you lose your insurance, you will most likely have to pay the entire payment out of pocket.


Medicaid is a health insurance program for low-income adults, the elderly, persons with disabilities, children, and pregnant women that is funded jointly by the federal and state governments. States administer Medicaid in accordance with federal criteria. Your modified adjusted gross income determines Medicaid eligibility. To be eligible, you must be a U.S. citizen or have a qualifying non-citizen status, such as permanent residency. You must reside in the state where you apply for Medicaid in most situations.

Health Insurance Provided by the School

Many universities and colleges provide health insurance to their students. Some school-based plans cost less than $2,000 a year, with co-payments ranging from $30 for an office visit to $150 for a visit to the emergency room. Find out what your school's plan covers by contacting them.

How Do You Pick the Right Insurance?

It's critical to understand the many types of health insurance plans available, the degree of coverage you can expect, and the associated costs before searching for your first policy.

Plans of Various Types

The following are the most prevalent types of health insurance plans: Exclusive provider organizations (EPO): Unless you require emergency treatment, an EPO will only reimburse costs if you use doctors, hospitals, and services that are part of the defined network. HMOs (Health Maintenance Organizations): HMOs contract with doctors to provide care and preventive health services, sometimes within a specific service area. Except in emergencies, this sort of plan exclusively covers the costs of services given by in-network caregivers. When you seek services through a network, you will pay less for physician and hospital treatment if you use a POS. To get specialty care, you'll need a recommendation from your general care physician. Preferred provider organization (PPO): When you seek care from doctors and hospitals within a network, PPOs offer discounted services. You don't need a referral for specialist care under this plan.


A monthly premium is required for health insurance coverage. You will, however, be responsible for extra charges if you require medical attention. The deductible is the amount you must pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage begins to cover your expenses. Co-payments: Depending on the plan, you make fixed payments for specific services (primary care visits, specialist visits, urgent care, etc.) before or after you achieve your deductible. A plan may, for example, demand you to pay a $20 co-payment every time you see your doctor. Out-of-pocket maximum: Your health insurance plan may set a limit on how much you have to spend on medical treatments each year. Out-of-pocket payments for marketplace plans will be capped at $8,700 for single coverage and $17,400 for family coverage in 2022.

Is it Really Necessary for Young People to Have Health Insurance?

You might not think you need health insurance till you're older if you're healthy. However, consider this: According to the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, treatment for a fractured limb can cost up to $7,500, and a hospital stay can cost up to $10,000 per day. If you don't have health insurance, you'll be responsible for the full cost of your medical bills if you become hurt or sick. According to the findings of a study published in 2019, conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Los Angeles Times, about 20% of households have delinquent medical debt. About 9% of households have filed bankruptcy owing to health care bills at some point. Consider the possibility of future health issues. As of May 2022, federal law prohibits ACA-compliant insurance plans from denying coverage for a previous condition like diabetes or heart disease.

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