The health reform law contains a provision that requires private insurers to continue dependent coverage of children until age 26.
Under the law, a young adult can qualify for coverage even if he or she is:
- no longer living with a parent,
- not a dependent on a parent’s tax return, or
- no longer a student.
Both married and unmarried young adults can qualify for the dependent coverage extension, although coverage does not extend to a young adult’s spouse or children.
For employer plans (or “grandfathered plans”) that were in place prior to March 23, 2010, young adults can only qualify for dependent coverage if they are not eligible for another employer-sponsored insurance plan. Insurers that do not offer coverage to dependent children will not be required to offer this coverage to young adults.
Young adults also cannot be charged more for coverage and must be offered the same benefits package as similar individuals who were already covered.