If a parent’s health insurance plan covers dependents, you usually can be added to their plan and stay on it until you turn 26.

Under 30? Get a customized health insurance decision guide

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Covered by a parent’s plan and about to turn 26? See how to get ready.

How to get added to a parent’s insurance plan

  • Job-based plans: Your parent can add you to their insurance during the plan’s yearly open enrollment period or during a Special Enrollment Period. Your parent should check with the plan or their employer’s benefits department for details.
  • Plans bought through the Health Insurance Marketplace: When a parent applies for a new plan in the Marketplace, they can include you on their application. They can add you to an existing Marketplace plan only during the yearly Open Enrollment Period or a Special Enrollment Period.

Your particular situation can affect coverage and costs when you’re added to a parent’s plan. Answer a few questions to get the details that apply to you.

You can stay on a parent’s plan until you turn 26

Once you’re on a parent’s plan, in most cases you can stay on it until you turn 26. (Check with the plan to be sure. Some states and plans have different rules.)

Generally, you can join a parent’s plan and stay on until you turn 26 even if you:

  • Get married
  • Have or adopt a child
  • Start or leave school
  • Live in or out of your parent’s home
  • Aren’t claimed as a tax dependent
  • Turn down an offer of job-based coverage

Get covered — or pay a fee

  • Under the health care law, you must have qualifying health coverage or pay a fee on your next federal tax return.
  • The penalty in 2016 is 2.5% of household income or $695 per adult (half of that per child), whichever is higher. The penalty rises with inflation in future years. Final 2017 amounts will be published when available. Learn more about the fee for not being covered.