Should you remain on your parents' health plan under the age of 26? Here's what you need to know (2023)

In 2010, the Affordable Care Act allowed children under the age of 26 to remain on their parents' health insurance, regardless of whether they were offered health insurance through their employer. This provision helped those who did not receive employer-funded health care in their first postgraduate jobs or did not want to enroll in an expensive college health care plan.

Persons under the age of 26can remain in their parents' health insurance, even if they have health insurance through their employer, have children, are not subject to taxes, are married or live outside the parental home.

Between 2010 and 2013, more than 2 million young adults (aged 19 to 25) gained access to health insurance through the schemean estimate by the Department of Health and Human Services.

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For young adults, the decision to remain on their parents' health plan or to opt for new insurance could mean, either by their employer or by the Court of AuditorsSaving hundreds or thousands of dollars in medical expenses. However, navigating and understanding health insurance can be confusing for most people:A studyfound that many, out of a lack of understanding, often opted for health insurance companies that were too expensive for them.

If you are choosing health insurance for the first time or need to decide whether you want to remain on your parents' health insurance,Choosedefines some common health insurance terms before discussing some of the factors to consider when choosing a plan.

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The basics of health insurance

Before you can decide whether to stay with your parents' plan or switch to a new one, you need to understand some basic health insurance terminology.

First off, every plan has a premium, which is the amount of money you spend on health insurance each month. You have to pay a monthly premium regardless of how many doctor's appointments you have or othersmedical expenses you incur. In addition to the premium, you also have a deductible and co-insurance and/or co-payment.

The deductible is the amount of money you have to spend on medical expenses before your health insurance covers part of your bills. The monthly premium you pay does not count towards your deductible, and your deductible is usually reset each year.

After you reach your deductible for the year, health insurance covers a portion of your expenses, known as co-insurance. For example, if your deductible is $5,000 and your deductible is 20%, you must spend $5,000 on medical expenses before the insurance company pays 80% of your medical bills. If you have family insurance, you may have an individual deductible and/or a family deductible.

A family deductible is the amount of money an entire family has to spend on medical expenses before coinsurance covers some of the family's expenses (or you have co-payments), while an individual deductible is the amount of money one person in the family has to spend on health care before receiving co-insurance.

A co-payment, unlike coinsurance, is a fixed expense that you pay for specific medical expenses. Depending on your plan, you may have co-payments before and/or after you reach your deductible.

Insurance plans also have a maximum deductible that is above the deductible threshold. After you've spent up to your deductible limit, the insurance company will cover all of your medical expenses, eliminating the need to spend money on co-payments or coinsurance.

For example, when you receive yourHealth insurance through the Court of Auditors, the maximum co-payment is $8,700 for individuals. After you spend this amount, 100% of your medical expenses are covered. Sometimes plans include your deductible and co-insurance and co-payments if you're calculating your out-of-pocket maximum, but not always. Your monthly premiums, any off-network services and any services not covered by your plan do not count towards your excess.

Finally, you want to know what type of insurance plans to choose. Health insurance companies work by negotiating reduced rates for medical services—with hospitals, doctors, and laboratories. The hospitals, doctors, and labs that the health insurance company has negotiated with are considered on-grid, and on-grid providers are generally cheaper for people, regardless of what type of plan you have.


It depends onwhat kind of plan you have– whether it is an EPO, HMO, POS or PPO – your plan may or may not cover off-network spend (although most plans will cover off-network spend in an emergency). Some plans, like an HMO, require people to see a family doctor before being referred to a specialist.

What you should consider before changing tariffs

When comparing health insurance plans, you should consider a number of different factors such as: Planning versus getting your own plan.

Plans with higher deductibles generally charge lower monthly premiums, making them a good option for young, healthy people with no chronic medical conditions.

If you choose high-deductible health insurance, you may be eligible for oneHealth Savings Account (HSA)also, regardless of whether you are busy. With an HSA, individuals can invest up to $3,650 for individuals and $7,300 for families in pre-tax money toward qualifying health care expenses, such as prescription drugs or co-payments.

Individuals with chronic conditions may opt for a plan with a higher monthly premium and lower deductible since they are more likely to meet the deductible due to ongoing medical costs.

When reviewing different plans, you should check if your favorite doctors or hospitals are in the network and if it covers all the medications you take regularly.

The number of people in a plan can also affect the monthly premium for family insurance. You should compare the additional cost of your family's plan to the cost of purchasing your own plan. Some plans charge a different rate for adult children, while others do not charge significantly different premiums based on the number of people in a plan.

Finally, you want to keep an eye on the deadlines for when you are eligible to enroll in different health insurance plans. Employers typically have an open enrollment period each year, during which individuals have a few months to enroll in health insurance for the first time or to change their plan.

If you do not have employer-sponsored health insurance, the Court of Auditors also has an open enrollment period that is open until January 15, (Note:some stateshave their own marketplaces, so you'll need to sign up through each state's website.)

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When navigating the ACA for the first time, you can receive impartial assistance from an "assistant" or "health navigator" who will help individuals review their health insurance options and fill out forms. You can find helpers in your area via

bottom line

Health insurance is confusing and complicated for most people, but understanding the basics of health insurance can help you save money on your medical expenses.

For people deciding whether to stay on their parent's plan or switch to a new plan, it's important to understand how your illness may affect your monthly premiums and how much you deductible, which hospitals or doctors are considered on-grid and apply outside. network and how the number of members of a family insurance policy affects the costs.

If you decide to stay on your parents' plan, you might want to offer to cover some of the monthly costs, especially if they're being charged more if they have an adult child on their plan and you have a full-time job.

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Should you remain on your parents' health plan under the age of 26? Here's what you need to know? ›

Depending on the type of insurance plan, 26-year-olds could lose coverage at the end of their birthday month or at the end of the calendar year. This cutoff is because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which only requires health insurance providers to cover a dependent on a parent's plan until the age of 26.

Why do you get kicked off parents insurance at 26? ›

Depending on the type of insurance plan, 26-year-olds could lose coverage at the end of their birthday month or at the end of the calendar year. This cutoff is because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which only requires health insurance providers to cover a dependent on a parent's plan until the age of 26.

Do I lose my parents insurance the day I turn 26 United Healthcare? ›

Plans that provide coverage for dependents are required to extend the coverage of dependents to age 26, regardless of their eligibility for other insurance coverage.

What happens when a dependent turns 26? ›

If your parent's plan covers dependents, you usually can get added to or stay on your parent's health plan until you turn 26 years old. You can join or remain on a parent's plan even if you are: Married.

Do my parents have to keep me on their health insurance? ›

Yes, your parents can kick you off their health insurance. Once you turn 18, your health care bills are ultimately your responsibility, and so is having health insurance coverage.

Can I stay on my parents insurance if I file taxes independently? ›

If you file your taxes independently, you're still allowed to stay on your parent's health insurance plan until age 26 (or the age limit in your state). Your ability to stay on your parents' health insurance is only based on your age and is separate from your tax filing status.

Can I stay on my parents insurance after 26 in Florida? ›

State of Florida Law (Florida Statute 627.6562):

Requires that extended coverage for adult children over age 26 be offered through the end of the calendar year in which they reach age 30. Extended coverage applies to medical and vision only.

Can I stay on my parents insurance after 26 in PA? ›

Know the “aging-up” rule

Most states require adults to get their own insurance by age 26. However, eight states allow young adults to apply to stay on their parent's plan beyond age 26. These states are Florida, Illinois, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Wisconsin (as of March 7, 2022).

At what age am I kicked off my parents health insurance? ›

If you're covered by a parent's job-based plan, your coverage usually ends when you turn 26. But check with the employer or plan. Some states and plans have different rules. If you're on a parent's Marketplace plan, you can remain covered through December 31 of the year you turn 26 (or the age permitted in your state).

What are examples of a qualifying event? ›

Examples of qualifying events include the birth or adoption of a child, death of a spouse, or a change in marital status.

Can I add my girlfriend to my health insurance United Healthcare? ›

Domestic partners enjoy many of same legal rights as married couples, including health insurance coverage. You cannot add your girlfriend to your health insurance plan as there is no legal or financial obligation between you and your girlfriend.

At what age are you no longer a Dependant? ›

The IRS defines a dependent as a qualifying child (under age 19 or under 24 if a full-time student, or any age if permanently and totally disabled) or a qualifying relative. A qualifying dependent can have income but cannot provide more than half of their own annual support.

Can parents claim 26 year old as dependent? ›

It's possible, but once you're over age 24, you can no longer be claimed as a qualifying child. The only exception to this is if you're permanently and totally disabled. However, you can be claimed as a qualifying relative if you meet these requirements: Your gross income is less than $4,300.

When did the dependent age change to 26? ›

On May 10, 2010, the federal Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury (the IRS) issued the necessary regulations to implement the expansion of dependent coverage for adult children up to age 26.

What happens when you turn 25 legally? ›

You can vote and be called for jury service. You can buy and drink alcohol in a bar. You can get married, enter a civil partnership or live together without parental consent.

Can your parents put you under their insurance? ›

If you and your spouse live with your parents and drive their vehicles, you can stay on their car insurance policy as listed drivers. If you or your spouse owns a vehicle, you can decide to insure the vehicle on your own car insurance policy or on your parents' policy.

What is the difference between a HMO and PPO plan? ›

HMO plans typically have lower monthly premiums. You can also expect to pay less out of pocket. PPOs tend to have higher monthly premiums in exchange for the flexibility to use providers both in and out of network without a referral. Out-of-pocket medical costs can also run higher with a PPO plan.

Can I buy my own insurance if I live with my parents? ›

You are allowed to sign up for your own health insurance plan, even if you are still living with your parents. However, because you are listed as a dependent, there are special conditions that will apply to you when you attempt to enroll in an individual plan.

What happens if my parents claim me but I file as independent? ›

If you claimed yourself, and your parents claimed you, one of you has to make the correction to the tax return. After that return is processed, the other party may file their return next. If you file your tax return before your parents file their tax returns, their return will get rejected for the dependent exemption.

Do I have a Form 1095 A if I'm on my parents insurance? ›

If you have family members enrolled in Covered California, they should receive Form 1095-A.

How long can a child stay on parents health insurance in Texas? ›

If you have health insurance at work, you can usually add your children to your plan as a "dependent." You can keep your children on your health plan until they turn 26.

What age does insurance go down in Florida? ›

Age 25 is generally the age that car insurance rates decrease for most people — but it's no magic number. Other factors can play a much bigger role in determining the cost of your premium.

What was the age limit before ACA? ›

Before, the age limit was typically 19, or 23 for full-time college students.

Can I stay on my parents insurance after 26 in Ohio? ›

Ohio Health Insurance for Dependents

Federal and State laws only require coverage is offered to age 26. Those who are insured through an employer based group health insurance plan – and those who have purchased individual or family insurance – can keep their children covered longer under these rules.

How old can you be to stay on your parents health insurance in PA? ›

The Affordable Care Act allows you to stay on this plan as a dependent until you are 26. In Pennsylvania, if a parent receives coverage through a PA-based employer, you may be able to stay on until you're 29.

How long can you stay on your parents health insurance in MD? ›

A child may stay on a parent's plan until the end of the year in which the child turns 26. Children can join or remain on a parent's plan even if they are: Married.

What does out of pocket medical expenses mean? ›

Your expenses for medical care that aren't reimbursed by insurance. Out-of-pocket costs include deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments for covered services plus all costs for services that aren't covered.

Do major medical policies have copays? ›

Major medical insurance is designed with set copayment amounts for specific healthcare benefits. As with all health insurance coverage, you will pay your monthly premium for access to benefits. Then, when you need medical care, you are responsible only to make a copayment or copay.

What is the difference between a premium and a deductible? ›

A premium is like your monthly car payment. You must make regular payments to keep your car, just as you must pay your premium to keep your health care plan active. A deductible is the amount you pay for coverage services before your health plan kicks in.

Can I remove a dependent after open enrollment? ›

You can typically remove your child from health coverage if they just got health insurance and you make the change within a special enrollment period. However, if you miss the special enrollment period, you'll have to keep your child on your health plan until the next open enrollment period.

What are qualifying policies? ›

A qualifying policy is a life insurance policy with a special tax status. When a qualifying policy comes to an end, or is treated as coming to an end, it is usually not subject to income tax or capital gains tax. There are certain specific conditions that a policy must fulfil if it is to be a qualifying policy.

What is a qualifying statement example? ›

Qualifying language is when a writer or speaker uses words that make a statement less or more certain. For example, instead of saying ''We will overcome this challenge,'' a qualifying statement would be ''Our goal is to overcome this challenge.

Can a boyfriend be on my health insurance? ›

Most insurance companies allow unmarried couples to combine coverage—and thereby get discounts and other valuable benefits. But again, not all insurance agents or companies will offer these benefits to an unmarried couple.

Can me and my boyfriend be on the same health insurance? ›

Domestic partnerships are not the only for same sex couples, it has been expanded to include opposite sex couples. Can my domestic partner be added to my benefits? Yes.

Can I put my pregnant girlfriend on my health insurance? ›

According to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) pregnancy cannot be considered a pre-existing condition. So, if open enrollment occurs before the baby is born, the expecting mother can be added to the plan without fear of a pre-existing condition exclusion.

When should you not claim your child as a dependent? ›

To meet the qualifying child test, your child must be younger than you and either younger than 19 years old or be a "student" younger than 24 years old as of the end of the calendar year. There's no age limit if your child is "permanently and totally disabled" or meets the qualifying relative test.

Can I claim my daughter as a dependent if she made over $4000? ›

Earned income includes salaries, wages, tips, professional fees, and taxable scholarship and fellowship grants. Gross income is the total of your unearned and earned income. If your gross income was $4,400 or more, you usually can't be claimed as a dependent unless you are a qualifying child.

When should a college student not be a dependent? ›

The IRS has a specific list of requirements that they use to determine dependent status. If your child meets these requirements and is a full-time college student, you can claim them as a dependent until they are 24.

How much money can a child make and still be claimed as a dependent? ›

The person can't be a qualifying child of another person. The person must be either related to you or must have lived with you all year as a member of your household. The person's gross income for the year must be less than $4,400. You must provide more than half of the person's total support for the year.

Can I be independent if I live with my parents? ›

By handling your financial situation, contributing to the household, and communicating clearly with your parents, you'll be able to maintain your independence. Above all else, having respect for your parents and yourself will help to keep your independence intact.

Do I lose my parents insurance the day I turn 26? ›

When Someone Turns 26. Your coverage will end on your 26th birthday. When you lose coverage on your 26th birthday, you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. This lets you enroll in a health plan outside Open Enrollment.

How old is a dependent in college? ›

However, to claim a college student as a dependent on your taxes, the Internal Revenue Service has determined that the qualifying child or qualifying relative must: Be younger than the taxpayer (or spouse if MFJ) and: Be under age 19, Under age 24 and a full-time student for at least five months of the year.

Is 25 a minor? ›

— The term “minor” means a person who has not reached 18 years of age.

What are the perks of turning 25? ›

All Of The Legitimate Reasons Why 25 Is The Best Year Of Your 20s
  • You Have So Much Clarity. ...
  • You Can Finally Rent A Car For Your Road Trips. ...
  • You Know How You Want Your Late 20s To Run. ...
  • You Feel Like You Can Start Giving Younger People Advice. ...
  • You Begin To Understand That Life Isn't A Race.
May 15, 2018

Is 25 the age of responsibility? ›

And neuroscientists are clear about the fact that different parts of the brain mature along different timetables. In other words, executive thinking may not reach its peak until 25 but most people are capable of performing many adult functions adequately at an earlier age--probably between 16 and 21.

Why would someone choose PPO over HMO? ›

PPOs Usually Win on Choice and Flexibility

If flexibility and choice are important to you, a PPO plan could be the better choice. Unlike most HMO health plans, you won't likely need to select a primary care physician, and you won't usually need a referral from that physician to see a specialist.

What are the pros and cons of HMO and PPO? ›

HMOs Offer Lower Cost Healthcare
  • PPOs typically have a higher deductible than an HMO.
  • Co-pays and co-insurance are common with PPOs.
  • Out-of-network treatment is typically more expensive than in-network care.
  • The cost of out-of-network treatment might not count towards your deductible.
Jan 24, 2018

Can I insure my son if he doesn't live with me? ›

Living with parents: Your child doesn't have to be living with you at the time you enroll them in your health insurance plan, provided they've lived with you long enough to meet the residency requirement. Marital status: your child is still eligible for coverage if he or she is married or has children.

Do my parents count as household income? ›

The term household income generally refers to the combined gross income of all members of a household above a specified age. Household income includes every member of a family who lives under the same roof, including spouses and their dependents.

Is it better to claim yourself as a dependent or independent? ›

If your parents meet eligibility criteria to claim you as financially dependent for tax purposes, it is usually more beneficial for them to do so rather than you claiming a deduction for yourself. Parents typically have a higher income since they are older and more established in their careers.

Should I have my parents claim me as a dependent? ›

Claiming you as a dependent is an attractive option for your parents because it can reduce their tax liability. If your parents continue to claim you as a dependent after you turn 18, they may be able to take advantage of tax breaks like: The credit for other dependents.

What happens if I don't put my 1095-A? ›

Not filing your return will cause a delay in your refund and may affect your future advance credit payments.

What happens if I don't report my 1095-A? ›

What happens if you don't file your 1095-A? You will not be able to file your taxes without Form 1095-A. You can wait on your form to arrive in the mail or log into your account to find your form. If you filed your taxes before reviewing Form 1095-A, you may need to submit an amended tax return.

How long can you stay on your parents health insurance in Texas? ›

If you have health insurance at work, you can usually add your children to your plan as a "dependent." You can keep your children on your health plan until they turn 26.

Why does having a higher deductible lower your insurance premiums? ›

The higher a deductible, the lower the annual, biannual or monthly insurance premiums may be because the consumer is assuming a portion of the total cost of a claim.

Does tax dependency affect health insurance? ›

According to, if you can count someone as a dependent on your taxes, they're also a dependent on your health insurance plan. What's more, you are required to provide health insurance for anyone whom you claim as a tax dependent.

Is it good to have a $0 deductible? ›

Is a zero-deductible plan good? A plan without a deductible usually provides good coverage and is a smart choice for those who expect to need expensive medical care or ongoing medical treatment. Choosing health insurance with no deductible usually means paying higher monthly costs.

What are the disadvantages of high deductible health plan? ›

Cons of High Deductible Healthcare Plans
  • Some Individuals May Avoid Healthcare Treatment Due to High Costs. ...
  • It Is More Expensive to Manage a Chronic Illness With an HDHP. ...
  • Few Exceptions to the Deductible Rules. ...
  • Premium Costs and Deductible Levels Seem to Rise Every Year. ...
  • Contributions to Your HSA Are Capped.
Oct 25, 2022

Is it better to have a $500 deductible or $250? ›

Deductible choices typically range from $250 to $2,000, with $500 representing the most common deductible choice. A lower deductible—such as $250 or $500—will mean higher auto insurance rates. That's because the lower the deductible, the more your car insurance company will need to pay out if you make a claim.

What happens if I meet my out-of-pocket maximum before my deductible? ›

What happens when you meet your out-of-pocket maximum? After your total health care spending toward the deductible, copayments and coinsurance reaches the out-of-pocket max, your health insurance policy will start paying 100% of the cost of covered health services.

Is it better to have a lower deductible or lower out-of-pocket maximum? ›

A health insurance deductible is more likely to play a role in your health care costs than an out-of-pocket maximum unless you need many health care services in a year. An out-of-pocket maximum is a safety net to save you from paying endless health care bills.

Do prescriptions count towards deductible? ›

If you have a combined prescription deductible, your medical and prescription costs will count toward one total deductible. Usually, once this single deductible is met, your prescriptions will be covered at your plan's designated amount. This doesn't mean your prescriptions will be free, though.

Can you claim a 26 year old as a Dependant? ›

To meet the qualifying child test, your child must be younger than you and either younger than 19 years old or be a "student" younger than 24 years old as of the end of the calendar year. There's no age limit if your child is "permanently and totally disabled" or meets the qualifying relative test.

When should I stop claiming my child as a dependent? ›

Your child must be under age 19 or, if a full-time student, under age 24. There's no age limit if your child is permanently and totally disabled. Do they live with you? Your child must live with you for more than half the year, but several exceptions apply.

Do I lose money if my parents claim me? ›

“If my parents claim me do I lose money?” If your parents claim you as a dependent on their taxes, they claim certain tax benefits associated with having a dependent. As a dependent, you do not qualify to claim those tax benefits. However, you may still need to file a tax return if you have income.


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