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Ask the Health Insurance Expert

Q

I’m 24 years old. Is it legal for my parents to discontinue my health insurance if I refuse to give them money towards it?

A

Your parents can discontinue your health insurance whether or not you give them money. There’s no law saying they need to buy or provide it for you.

Federal law now requires insurers to give parents the option of keeping their adult children, up to age 26, on their health plan.  Coverage can’t be restricted or denied based on:

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

However, this federal law doesn’t require your parents to place or keep you on their health insurance plan. 

If possible, talk your parents into at least keeping you covered until 2015. Beginning in November 2014,  it’s open enrollment period for individual health insurance plans for 2015 and you can buy your own plan 

If you are on your own to buy health insurance coverage, I suggest reading up on health insurance basics so you’ll know how to navigate today’s health insurance system.

Last updated: Jun. 13, 2014
By
Ask the Insurance Expert
Penny Gusner Consumer Analyst
Penny Gusner has been working in the insurance business for more than 10 years. She researches your questions, from the routine to the bizarre, with equal enthusiasm. Read More

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1 Responses to "I’m 24 years old. Is it legal for my parents to discontinue my health insurance if I refuse to give them money towards it?"
  1. Rachele D Stoops

    My oldest child is 19, lives in my basement, pays rent and has a job that doesn't offer health insurance. My other two children are covered under their dad's insurance. I'm currently paying for my son to have insurance with my employer, but it's really a financial hardship. Can my son use the marketplace as an individual, or will my income be included since he technically lives with me?

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