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Aging Out of Health Insurance Coverage at 26

Aging out of coverage at 26? Explore options to maintain insurance and navigate this important transition.

A young woman concerned about aging out of coverage because she is turning 26
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Aging out of coverage at 26?

As a young adult, you may be approaching the age of 26 when you will no longer be covered under your parent’s plan. This can be a concerning time, but there are options available to help you stay insured.

  • If you are still in school, you may be able to stay on your parents’ plan until you graduate. Check with your school’s health insurance office to see if a student health insurance plan or being able to stay on your parent’s plan are options for you.
  • If you are not in school, or if you have already graduated, there are still ways to stay insured. You may be eligible for extended coverage through your parent’s plan, or you may be able to purchase your own insurance.

What the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Does to Provide Coverage

The Affordable Care Act requires that health insurers allow young adults to stay on their parent’s insurance plan until they turn 26 years old. This provision of the ACA applies to all plans, including employer-sponsored plans, individual plans, and family plans.

If you’re under 26 and you have a job, you may be eligible for coverage through your employer’s health insurance plan. Many employers offer benefits to their employees, so check with your human resources department to see if this is an option for you.

You may also be able to purchase your own plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace. The Marketplace is a website where you can shop for and compare different plans. You may be eligible for a subsidy to help you pay for your premiums, or you may qualify for Medicaid coverage.

If you’re not sure what your options are, the best place to start is by talking to a health insurance agent or broker. They can help you understand your options and find a plan that meets your needs and budget.

How to Learn More About a Health Plan

To learn more about a health plan through Marketplace America, you can:

  • View the plan’s summary of benefits and coverage (SBC). The SBC is a document that provides information about the plan’s benefits, costs, and limitations.
  • Read the plan’s contract. The contract is a legal document that outlines the terms and conditions of the plan.
  • Talk to a licensed insurance agent or broker. They can help you understand the plan and answer your questions.
  • Use the Health Insurance Marketplace’s comparison tool. This tool allows you to compare plans side-by-side based on factors such as premiums, deductibles, and copays.

Once you have learned more about a health plan, you can decide whether it is right for you. If you have any questions, you can always contact the plan’s insurance company.

How to Get Marketplace Health Insurance After a Loss in Coverage

If you lose your coverage, you may be eligible for a special enrollment period to sign up for a marketplace plan.

A special enrollment period is a time outside of the normal open enrollment period when you can sign up for insurance. To be eligible for a special enrollment, you must have had a qualifying life event, such as losing your health coverage.

If you’re not sure whether you qualify for a special enrollment period, you can contact the Marketplace America call center at (864) 507-5373. You can also find more information on our website.

The Bottom Line

Aging out of coverage at 26 can be a scary prospect, but there are options available to help you stay insured.

If you’re still in school, you may be able to stay on your parents’ plan until you graduate. If you’re not in school, or if you’ve already graduated, you may be eligible for continuation coverage through your parent’s plan, or you may be able to purchase your own plan.

When shopping for insurance, be sure to consider things like monthly insurance premiums, deductibles, and whether the plan covers pre-existing conditions.

You can also contact your state’s insurance department to learn more about insurance options in your state. Don’t let the prospect of aging out of coverage at 26 scare you – there are options available to help you stay insured.

FAQ: Answering Your Turning 26 Coverage Questions

Do I Lose My Mental Health Services at 26?

Mental health coverage is an essential part of healthcare, and you should not lose access to them when you turn 26. If you have a mental health condition that requires treatment, you can discuss your options with your doctor or a mental health professional. You may be able to find a health insurance plan that covers mental health, or you may be able to get help paying for mental health coverage through a government program like Medicaid.

What Happens When a Dependent Turns 26?

When a dependent turns 26, they are no longer eligible to be covered under their parent’s health insurance plan. This is true regardless of whether they are still in school, working, or married.

 

Do I Lose My Parent's Insurance the Day I Turn 26?

Under most circumstances, you will lose your parent’s health insurance the day you turn 26. However, there are a few exceptions, such as if you are a full-time student or disabled. If you are losing your insurance when you turn 26, you should start researching health insurance plans early and consider enrolling in a plan through the ACA Marketplace.

It is important to note that you will not lose your coverage immediately on your 26th birthday. You will typically have a grace period of up to 30 days to enroll in a new health insurance plan. If you do not enroll in a new plan within the grace period, you may be responsible for paying for your own healthcare costs

 

 

What Are the Exceptions to Dependent Coverage to Age 26?

There are a few exceptions to the rule that dependents must lose their health insurance coverage at 26. These exceptions include:

    • If the dependent is a full-time student.
    • If the dependent is working and making less than a certain amount of money.
    • If the dependent is disabled.
    • If the dependent is a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault

 

Can Cobra (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) Provide Health Coverage After Aging Out?

COBRA is a federal law that allows you to continue your health insurance coverage for a limited time after you lose your job, retire, or turn 26. COBRA can be expensive, and it is only available for a limited time, so it is not always the best option for long-term coverage.

 

 

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