Should I Stay On My Parents Health Insurance?

Young adults often rely on their parents for many things in life. Health insurance is no exception. The law requires parents to include their children in their insurance plans until they are 26 years old. So what happens when you turn 26? What are their options?

What happens when you turn 26 after open enrollment?

Open enrollment is a period in which individuals, corporations, and families apply for insurance plans.

After turning 26, you’ll be granted a 30 days special enrollment period, which allows you to enroll in marketplace insurance.

It is also worth noting that children can still qualify for their plants before they are 26, even if they are married, not living with their parents, financially dependent, and eligible to enroll in their employer’s plan. 

What insurance should a 26-year-old enroll in?

Each young adult has different conditions that each insurance plans might cover such as;

Employee insurance

It is a cheap option (and in some cases free) that might suit you. You’ll be expected to pay premiums each month.


It is a federally funded program that provides free or low-cost insurance. Note that you might not be eligible for Medicaid.

Marketplace plans

As many tiers come in marketplace plans, young adults should apply for a catastrophic or bronze tier that may cost you a premium ranging from $221 to $265.

Student insurance

Your university typically offers this. Every student pays insurance as part of their semester fees.

Family health plan

Young adults can rely on their family insurance up to 26 regardless of their conditions. 

Short-term insurance

These plans can be bought at an affordable price that is beneficial to young adults with less health care needs.

How long can a 26-year-old stay on Cobra?

Typically, when children age out of their parent’s plan, they have around 36 months of continued COBRA coverage. This coverage loss qualifies as a qualifying event.

More information

Young adults have so many options when it comes to enrolling in insurance plans. Although it can be confusing, you can consult our experts by filling the form below.