Are You Turning 26?
If you are turning 26, health insurance might be something that is on your mind, especially if you are currently on your parents health insurance plan. Or you might be a parent reading this asking yourself, "How long can my child stay on my health insurance?" Under the current law,
children can stay on their parent's health insurance plan until they turn 26. Their coverage ends on their 26th birthday. Depending on the state, if they are on their parent's marketplace plan they may be able to remain covered until December 31 of the year they turn 26. If their birthday falls outside of the Open Enrollment period, they are given a grace period also known as a Special Enrollment Period 60 days after they turn 26.
According to Obamacare facts, in 2010, 30% of young adults ages 19 to 29 were uninsured. That's roughly 13 million people! That number has been dropping since children under 26 were allowed to stay on their parent's health insurance until 26 due to the Affordable Care Act.
60 Days Before Turning 26
You are eligible to start enrolling in your own insurance plan 60 days prior to your 26th birthday. That way you'll be treated to an extra birthday gift: reliable health insurance!
You have a few options when choosing the right health insurance. If you are employed and your job offers health benefits to it's employees, you can enroll in a job-based plan even if it is outside the standard enrollment period. Contact your HR department at least 60 days prior to your birthday for more information.
If you are not eligible for job-based insurance, you should be eligible for a low-cost plan through Medicaid or the Marketplace. Half of all young single adults who turn 26 are eligible to buy health insurance through the Marketplace for $50 or less due to the cost assistance of the subsidies.
You may also enroll in your spouse's health insurance plan if they have a job-based plan. If you are under your parent's job-based plan and their company has more than 20 employees, you may be eligible to purchase temporary extended health coverage for up to 36 months under COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act). You must notify your parent's employer in writing 60 day prior to your 26th birthday in order to apply for this option. If your parent's company has 20 or fewer employees, ask them if they offer a similar program.
You can remain as a tax dependent on your parent's application but still, must enroll in your own coverage and would not be eligible for savings based on income. If you don't take action and enroll in a health plan within the SEP, you may have to pay a fee on your next federal tax return.