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Adding Children Under 26 Years to Your Health Insurance

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Attention Parents Renewing Health Insurance Policy


Effective on September 22, 2010, any parent renewing their health insurance policy has the option of continuing coverage on their adult children under the age of 26 to their current insurance policy.  The age restriction on this option was previously 18 years of age, though it depended on what state you lived in.

Even more importantly, this is not contingent on whether or not they are a student, married, or what is listed as their home address.  Whether or not a parent lists them as a dependent on their tax return is also not considered; the child just needs to be under 26 years of age.


Can You Continue Cover for an Employed Child?


If a child is employed and qualifies for their company’s health plan and is under 26 years of age, then they are not eligible to remain on their parent’s insurance.  According to the government, the definition of ‘child or children’ is as follows: natural (or biological) children, stepchildren, adopted children, and any other child or children that are dependent on an adult during an adoption waiting period; grandchildren are not covered.  That being said, grandparents who are the legal guardians of their grandchildren also do not qualify.  If a state already has a maximum dependent age of 26 will not change their policies.


Some Things You Need To Know About Age Change and the New Healthcare Reform Bill


Doctor, Family with Two Children and Health InsuranceHere is a breakdown of a few other things you will need to know about the age change that has been instituted with the new healthcare reform bill by President Barack Obama:

Depending on your current health care coverage, there may or may not be a one-time special enrollment to subscribe your under-26 year old child.  It doesn’t matter if the child was previously denied coverage or not; any of them can apply.

Enrollment status must be changed to allow dependent’s on the plan if they are currently covered on a spousal, employee, or single person health plan.  Anyone can add their children if they want to.

If you are not already enrolled in a healthcare plan, but want to enroll with the new rules, you can.  There will be a special enrollment period to do this, and there are certain qualifications that must be met, depending on the company.

If your child is already covered by a healthcare plan, then nothing will need to be changed, and will remain as is. If you do not want your dependents to stay on your policy until they are no longer allowed (age 26), then you can take them off.  Just contact you insurance provider and ask to have them taken off of your plan.

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