Obamacare: when to drop your child

When do I have to drop my child from my health plan at work?

Cutting The Ties

Dear Cutting The Ties,

In most states and situations, your insurer will drop your child the month after he or she turns 26.  If your plan offers COBRA, then COBRA would be available.  

Some states require insurers to allow children to stay on a parent’s plan past age 26.  New Jersey, for example, extends group coverage to children up to age 31.  There are lots of requirements for this; child has to be unmarried, and so forth.  

If the child is disabled, there may be special provisions to allow him/her to stay on your group plan.  A disabled child could also qualify for Medicaid and Medicare.

Assuming your child is healthy and your state doesn’t allow more than the Affordable Care Act, then your ties (at least the health insurance ones) can be cut shortly after the 26th birthday party.

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.