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How Long Can I Stay on My Parent’s Insurance?

Most children can easily stay on their parent’s health insurance plans until they reach a certain age, but they will eventually have to find insurance coverage independently. Children on their parent's plans are considered dependents—and rely on another person for coverage. Knowing the age restrictions for dependents on each insurance plan and exploring how to get new health insurance can help make the transition easier.

Aflac does not offer traditional health insurance, but instead offers supplemental health insurance to complement existing plans and help pay for out-of-pocket expenses. However, the age limit applies to most supplemental insurance plans too. Understanding these guidelines can help parents and children get coverage support when they need it most.

How Long You Can Stay on Your Parent’s Health Insurance

Most states allow children to stay on their parent’s health insurance until the age of 26.1 However, this is only possible if the parent’s insurance plan allows coverage for dependent children—which may not always be the case.1

There are some unique circumstances where this age limit can be extended, depending on the state you live in. Children with disabilities can stay on their parent’s health insurance indefinitely in some states.1 In most cases, children under the age of 26 can remain on their parent’s plan regardless of whether they are married.

In some states, this deadline can be extended until the age of 30 depending on the children’s marital status, whether they are a veteran, their disability status or whether they have children.1 Elderly parents may also be able to be covered on their children’s plans.1 This widely varies from state to state, so we recommend you research the specific laws where you live.

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Your Health Insurance Options

If you turn 26 and do not qualify to stay on your parent’s health insurance plan, it’s crucial to know how to get your own insurance coverage. Luckily, when you get off your parents’ insurance, there are other options available:

  • Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance: Your employer may offer health insurance options. These plans may be able to offer you a decent premium payment depending on your coverage goals. However, you may not be able to take this insurance coverage with you if you switch jobs.1
  • School-Sponsored Health Insurance: If you are in college, your institution may offer you school-sponsored health insurance with low copays. This depends on each school, so we recommend chatting with an advisor on your campus.1
  • The Health Insurance Marketplace: If you can’t get coverage through your employer or school, there is a health insurance marketplace where you can apply for the insurance coverage that best meets your needs. You can explore your options based on your state’s individual marketplace or at
  • Medicaid: Medicaid is a type of health insurance offered through federal and state governments to help low-income adults, families, people with disabilities, elderly adults, children and pregnant women. Medicaid coverage is administered according to federal guidelines. Eligibility for Medicaid is based on how much income you receive and you must typically be a resident in the state that you apply.1

What to Do When You Are 25 on Your Parent’s Health Insurance

If you turn 26 within the coverage year, you may want to have a backup insurance plan mapped out. When you do turn 26, you’ll no longer qualify for your parent’s insurance coverage and need to have a new plan ready. Let’s visit a visualization to see how this pans out.

Alex is currently 25 years old, and he turns 26 on April 15th, 2023. His father’s open enrollment begins on June 1st, 2022, so he can still sign up under his parent’s coverage. The following coverage year starts on January 1st and ends on December 31st, 2023. This means he will be able to stay on his dad’s plan for the first four months of the coverage cycle, but he will no longer qualify after April 15th, 2023.

For context, you can only sign up for an insurance plan during a specific time of the year, otherwise known as open enrollment, unless you fall under a qualifying event.2 Luckily, no longer qualifying for a parent‘s insurance plan is considered a qualifying event and Alex can sign up for new insurance coverage outside of the typical open enrollment period.2

Aflac Offers Supplemental Health Insurance

Once you exceed the age a child can remain on a parent’s health insurance plan, you have access to many health and supplemental insurance options. If you have a primary health insurance plan in place, you can utilize our supplemental plan to get more coverage.

Sometimes, significant expenses are expected to be paid out-of-pocket within primary health insurance plans. Aflac offers supplemental support and pays you cash benefits for various categories to help minimize financial stressors. Some of the categories we provide support for are cancer, critical illness, accident insurance, hospital and short-term disability.

We understand how stressful it can be to lose insurance coverage or not get the coverage you need. That’s why Aflac is here. Chat with an agent to better understand your supplemental health insurance options.

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