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.
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.2
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.3 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.4 Elderly parents may also be able to be covered on their children’s plans.5 This widely varies from state to state, so we recommend you research the specific laws where you live.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Help cover yourself and your family with affordable coverage from Aflac.
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:
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.10 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.11
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.
Explore your supplemental health insurance options.
1 - 9 The Balance - How Long Can You Stay on Your Parent’s Health Insurance. Updated Nov 11, 2022. https://www.thebalance.com/how-long-can-you-stay-on-your-parent-s-health-insurance-5188739. Accessed November 9, 2022.
10-11 Very Well Health - What Is Open Enrollment for Health Insurance. Updated Sep 17, 2020. https://www.verywellhealth.com/what-is-open-enrollment-1738755. Accessed November 9, 2022.
The content herein is provided for general informational purposes and is not provided as tax, legal, health or financial advice for any person or for any specific situation. Employers, employees and other individuals should contact their own advisers about their situations. For complete details, including availability and costs of Aflac insurance, please contact your local Aflac agent. Aflac supplemental insurance coverage is underwritten by Aflac. In New York, supplemental coverage underwritten by Aflac New York.
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