How Long Can You Stay on Your Parents’ Health Insurance?

Posted Apr 2019

By Delta Dental of Arkansas

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By Shakara Robinson

Birthdays often mark major milestones, like getting your driver’s license at 16, registering to vote at 18, having your first legal drink at 21…

… and getting kicked off of your parents’ health insurance. But how long can you stay on your parent’s health insurance? Most plans say age 26.

 

Prior to blowing out those 26 candles, take charge of your health and declare your independence! It’s important to have health and dental insurance, even if you don’t get sick very often.

 

It’s time to birthday shop for some options:

 

1. COBRA
Some health plans offer COBRA continuation coverage, which gives you up to 36 months of coverage after you age out to figure out your next steps. Learn if you’re eligible.

 

2. Employee Health Benefits
If your job offers health insurance, you’ll likely have 30 – 60 days to enroll after you lose your parents’ benefits, even if it’s not open enrollment.

 

If your parents’ plan included dental and vision coverage, but your current job doesn’t, tell your employer the perks of having these benefits! Or look into getting your own individual plan.

 

3. Private Health Plans
Individual benefit plans may not be as expensive as you think. Price out your options and develop a savings plan. You may have to make some tough choices, but you’ll stay covered and healthy.

 

4. Government Health Plans
You may qualify for state-funded programs, such as Medicaid. Browse the health insurance exchange to find a plan for your needs and budget.

 

5. Catastrophic Plans
We know, we know. You’re in your mid 20’s – you rarely get sick! But that doesn’t mean life is accident-free. Adults under 30 can enroll in a catastrophic health insurance plan that covers worst-case scenarios.

 

As an emerging adult, insurance might seem like just another bill to pay. But the cost is too high not to have it. And coverage is required under the Affordable Care Act, meaning you’ll have to pay a penalty if you don’t have it.

 

You have your whole life ahead of you – get covered today!

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