Can children stay on a parent’s plan until age 26?



If a plan covers children, they can be added to or kept on a parent's health insurance policy until they turn 26 years old.

Children can join or remain on a parent's plan even if they are:

  • married
  • not living with their parents
  • attending school
  • not financially dependent on their parents
  • eligible to enroll in their employer’s plan

These rules apply to both job-based plans and individual plans you buy yourself, inside or outside the Marketplace.

How to get coverage for adult children

Adult children may be enrolled during a plan’s Open Enrollment period or during other special enrollment opportunities. The employer or insurance company can provide details.

When you apply for a new plan in the Marketplace, you can usually sign up your under-26-year-olds on the same application. Be sure to include them on the list of people to be covered.

Important: If your child under 26 is not your dependent for tax purposes, you’ll need help to fill out your application correctly. This is true only if you or anyone who'll be part of the same application wants to qualify for premium tax credits and lower out-of-pocket costs based on household size and income.

If this applies to your situation, contact the Marketplace call center at 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325). Explain your situation and the representative will tell you how to fill out your application.