What age is a child not covered under family insurance?

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Asked August 1, 2011

1 Answer


Until recently, there was not a simple answer to this question. Insurance companies are regulated on a state by state basis, and each company had their own rules on when children were no longer insurable on the parents' policy. But in October of 2010 a new federal law went into effect, the Healthcare Reform Act of 2010, and that places specific ages for coverages on health insurance that never existed before.

The Healthcare Reform Act of 2010 stipulates that children may be covered on the policy of a parent until they reach age of 26, regardless of whether the child lives at home, attends college full time, or even gets married. As long as the child does not have insurance through an employer or other organization, they can remain on the parents policy even if they move away from home and become otherwise self-supporting.

However, if your child is in their early 20's and is covered under your health insurance, they may be surprised to find out that the company is not required to offer coverage to their children. This means that even though your kids can stay on your policy until they are 26 and married, their offspring will need to have insurance from a different provider or qualify for government assisted insurance.

If the kids work for an employer that offers health insurance, they are required to accept that coverage rather than to remain on the parents' policy. This stipulation is difficult for insurance companies to track down and enforce, but it does allow for them to drop an insured person who has the ability to secure an individual policy through other sources.

Answered August 1, 2011 by Anonymous

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