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.

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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 a plan that qualifies as minimum essential 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. Learn more about the fee for not being covered.