Coverage for 25-year-old child

My 25-year-old son is the ultimate boomerang.  Since he (finally!) finished college last year, he has spent more time on my couch than he has working or looking for a job.  He is still on my health insurance plan, from my employer; and he needs health insurance to cover his daily meds for seizures.  He will turn 26 in December.  Can he still stay on my plan after that?

Failure to Launch From Nebraska

Dear Failure to Launch,

As of his 26th birthday, he cannot be covered under his parent’s health plan. Generally, the health insurer will cover the child under the end of the month of the 26th birthday. Nebraska requires virtually all group plans to offer COBRA coverage; but if your company has fewer than 20 employees, the COBRA coverage will only last nine months.  Ask your employer for the details or call the number on the back of your ID card.

So, he could continue on COBRA for at least nine months. Someone has to pay for the plan each month.  You could use his 26th birthday or the end of the COBRA coverage as your end date for taking care of his health insurance.  You might be surprised by how creative he gets, when he is faced with his own bills.

He may choose to go without a health plan.  He could apply to the drug manufacturer for help to pay for his meds.  Go to the manufacturer’s website and search for “patient assistance”.

Be grateful that you live in Nebraska and not New York or New Jersey, where a child can stay on the parent’s plan until he turns 30!

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Linda Riddell

About Linda Riddell

A published author and health policy analyst with 25 years’ experience, Linda Riddell's goal is to alleviate the widespread ailment of not knowing what your health plan can do for you.