Coverage of Young Adults

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Children up to age 26 can stay on their parents’ health plan. Here are the rules.

Overview

The Affordable Care Act allows young adults to stay on their parents’ health care plan until age 26. Before the President signed this landmark Act into law, many health plans and issuers could and did in fact remove young adults from their parents’ policies because of their age, leaving many college graduates and others with no insurance.

The Affordable Care Act requires plans and issuers that offer dependent coverage to make the coverage available until the adult child reaches the age of 26, even if the young adult no longer lives with his or her parents, is not a dependent on a parent’s tax return, or is no longer a student. The new policy applies to both married and unmarried children, although their own spouses and children do not qualify.

And, as of 2014, adult children who have another offer of employer-based coverage (through their own job) are eligible to stay on their parents’ plan.

This is a non-grandfathered benefit – it applies to all group plans whether grandfathered or not.

Source: DOL Fact Sheet – Young Adults and the Affordable Care Act

Regulations and Guidance

Regulations & Guidance

Regulation
Group Health Plans and Health Insurance Issuers Relating to Dependent Coverage of Children to Age 26 Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Interim Final Rule and Proposed Rule
DOL Fact Sheet
Young Adults and the Affordable Care Act: Protecting Young Adults and Eliminating Burdens on Families and Businesses
DOL Frequently Asked Questions
Young Adults and the Affordable Care Act: Protecting Young Adults and Eliminating Burdens on Businesses and Families
IRS Notice 2010-38
Tax Treatment of Health Care Benefits Provided With Respect to Children Under Age 27
Model Notice | en español
Model Language for Notice of Opportunity to Enroll in connection with Extension of Dependent Coverage to Age 26

Video

HHS Video: Health Reform and Young Adults

Posted May 11, 2010. Explains how the ACA impacts young adults. Conducted in a Q&A format.


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