The recent changes in healthcare laws may have upset a lot of people, as any major change is bound to do, but these changes also provided new or continuing coverage for often underserved groups, such as those unable to otherwise afford coverage. And young adults were one group in particular that benefited from the expansion in coverage. While most insurance providers have long offered policy provisions allowing parents to add children to their healthcare plans at a greatly reduced cost (as opposed to purchasing entirely new policies), these provisions often expired when children reached adulthood or shortly thereafter. Thanks to the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, however, this rule has changed.
These days, parents can continue to insure their children until those children reach the age of 26. This not only applies to those covered under the Affordable Care Act, but also to parents opting to purchase health insurance from private providers. In addition, restrictions that once applied have been lifted. In the past, insurance providers could impose whatever criteria they desired to keep adult children on a health insurance plan.
For example, many states allowed for extended coverage of adult children. But insurance providers could exempt adult children over a certain age if they dropped out of school or got married, just for example. These limits no longer apply. If parents are willing to continue coverage for their children up to the age of 26, those children need not live at home, be students, or maintain single status in order to enjoy such coverage under a parent’s policy.
In addition, children that had previously been removed from a parent’s insurance policy due to age, enrollment status, or marital status can now be added back onto existing policies so long as they are still under the age of 26. So kids that graduated from college, got married, or simply aged out of previous policies may be eligible to regain parental coverage for health insurance, provided they meet the age requirements mandated by the federal government.
But it gets even better. Some states have elected to extend the rules to cover adult children that are even older. The amount of time that parents can continue to cover their adult children on a health insurance policy will vary from state to state, but the federal limit is up to the age of 26. Of course, you need to understand that enrollment is not automatic. If you are an adult child that was previously covered on a parent’s insurance but you were removed for some reason, you’ll need to speak to your parents about the prospect of regaining coverage. And then you’ll need to talk to a representative from their health insurance provider so that you can be added to a current policy.
Prior to Obamacare, young adults were one of the largest groups of uninsured Americans. But with new laws extending the ability of parents to cover children on their health insurance, many college students and other young adults can now maintain the peace of mind and the benefits that come with coverage up until the age of 26, or even beyond in some cases. You should check the laws in your state to find out if you are eligible for health coverage under a parent’s policy beyond the age of 26.