Skip to content

    Health Care Reform:

    Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act

    Health Plans for Young Adults

    You know your kids have a lot on their minds. They may need to finish school and look for their first real job.

    One thing that might not be on their radar yet is getting health insurance. But it's a big deal. Especially when you consider that the average emergency room visit can cost more than $1,200.

    The health reform law makes it easier for people ages 19 to 26 to get insurance -- whether they have a job or you're still supporting them.

    What's Covered

    In the past, your child was kicked off your health plan at age 19 or once he or she graduated from college. Under the new health care law, most insurance plans must cover children up to age 26.

    If your health plan offers coverage for dependents, your child can stay on your plan even if he or she moves out of the house or gets married.

    Under the new law, if your child gets a job with health benefits, he or she will have a choice to make. Your child will be able to either sign up for the plan that's offered through the job or stay on your plan.

    Certain plans, called "grandfathered" plans, do not have to extend enrollment to adult children. Grandfathered plans are those that existed before March 23, 2010 -- the day the health reform bill became law and that have not substantially changed since then..

    Under the new law, your child who is age 19 to 26 will also have access to free preventive services, such as:

    Dental and vision plans work differently than your other health insurance. Whether your child aged 19 to 26 is covered depends on the type of dental or vision insurance plan you have.

    How to Choose a Plan

    If your 19- to 26-year-old is trying to decide which insurance plan to go with -- yours or one offered by your child's job -- take a close look at the type of plan being offered. If your child chooses to stay on your employer plan, he or she will be enrolled in the same plan you have.

    Today on WebMD

    stethoscope on person's chest
    Your Marketplace choices,
    How not to waste money on health care.
    man in cafe looking at computer
    Finding low-cost health insurance.
    doctor showing girl a stethoscope
    Get the facts on health insurance.

    Latest Health Reform News

    Loading …
    URAC: Accredited Health Web Site TRUSTe online privacy certification HONcode Seal AdChoices