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Federal law now requires insurers to give parents the option of keeping their adult children on their health insurance plans up to age 26. An insurer can’t deny coverage based on the following:

  • Financial dependency
  • Residency
  • Student status
  • Employment status
  • Marital status

However, this federal law doesn’t require your parents to keep you on their health insurance plan. If they choose, they can remove you from the policy.

Can my parents remove me from their health insurance?

Yes, your parents can remove you from their health insurance plan after you turn 18. If they do this, you become responsible for your own healthcare expenses and getting a health insurance policy. 

Additionally, if you live far away from your parents, it is possible that your healthcare providers will be out of network. In this situation, having your own health insurance can reduce out-of-pocket expenses.

Can I stay on my parents’ health insurance after I turn 26?

No. Most states do not allow individuals to stay on their parent’s health insurance plan after they turn 26. 

However, some states offer extensions for children to stay on their parents’ insurance beyond the age of 26, subject to certain limitations. For example, in New Jersey, children can remain on their parent’s policy until they turn 30 years old, provided that they are not married and do not have any dependents.

Can a child stay on their parents’ health insurance if they have a job?

Yes, a child can stay on their parent’s health insurance even if they have a job, as long as they are under 26. This applies regardless of whether the adult child’s job offers its own health insurance benefits or not. Compare the coverage and costs of both plans to determine the most suitable option.

Common health insurance options for 26-year-olds

When you lose coverage upon turning 26 years old, you become eligible for a special enrollment period. This allows you to enroll in a health insurance plan outside of the standard Open Enrollment window. 

If you can’t go on your parents’ plan, coverage options include:

  • Individual health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges or directly through an insurance company. Plans through the exchanges are eligible for subsidies to help pay for coverage based on your salary. 
  • Catastrophic health plans are available for people under 30. These plans have low premiums but offer all the benefits found in standard health insurance. 
  • Short-term health plans offer low premiums but high out-of-pocket costs and limited benefits. These plans are available for a year in most states. 

If you’re employed full-time, you can usually also get coverage through your employer. If not, check out this page about how to find health insurance when you’re unemployed or between jobs


Progressive. “How long can children stay on their parent’s insurance?” Accessed June 2023.

National Conference of State Legislatures. “Dependent Health Coverage and Age for Healthcare Benefits.” Accessed June 2023.

Employee Benefits Security Administration. “Young Adults and the Affordable Care Act: Protecting Young Adults and Eliminating Burdens on Businesses and Families FAQs.” Accessed June 2023. 

Frequently asked questions

Can you be on your parent’s insurance if you move out?

Yes, you can still be on your parent’s health insurance even if you move out. Your place of residence typically does not impact your eligibility for dependent coverage under your parent’s health insurance plan.

Insurance providers generally allow dependents to remain on their parent’s plan as long as they meet the specified eligibility criteria, such as age limits — typically up to 26 years old— and other requirements outlined in the policy. 

Can I have my own insurance and be on my parents at the same time?

Yes, you can have your own insurance policy while also being on your parents’ plan, as long as you are under 26. This is known as dual coverage. In such cases, one plan will be considered primary, and the other will be secondary. The primary plan will pay for covered expenses first, and the secondary plan may cover additional costs or fill in gaps, depending on the specific terms of each policy.

Can you stay on your parents’ insurance if you get married?

Yes, you can stay on your parents’ health insurance plan if you get married, as long as you are under 26. Your marital status does not affect your eligibility to remain on their plan. However, it’s important to note that your spouse is not eligible to join your parents’ plan. You and your spouse should explore other options for coverage, such as obtaining insurance through an employer or purchasing a plan from the health insurance marketplace.

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Shivani Gite
Contributing Writer


Shivani Gite is a personal finance and insurance writer with a degree in journalism and mass communication. She is passionate about making insurance topics easy to understand for people and helping them make better financial decisions.