Married daughter can stay on parent’s plan

My daughter is getting married in December.  She will turn 26 the following April.  Will she get dropped from my plan when she gets married?  How long can I keep her on my plan?

Mother Of The Bride

Dear Mother Of The Bride,

Getting married is not a reason for your plan to drop your daughter.  Under the federal health reform law, you can no longer cover your child when he or she turns age 26.  The child does not have to live with you, be declared as a dependent (on your taxes), be a full-time student, or depend upon you for support. (Note: some states have additional rules about young adult coverage.  Check your state’s insurance regulatory bureau or ask your plan administrator.)

That said, there is one way that a child can lose coverage before age 26.  If she was offered a group plan through her own employer, your plan could refuse her.   Your plan would have to qualify as “grandfathered” and it would have made this decision about employed children back in 2010.  Very few plans qualify as “grandfathered” at this point; grandfathered means that the plan has made very few changes since 2010.

Though your plan will cover your daughter and would cover a pregnancy, it will not cover your grandchild.  So if she is throwing out her birth control when she tosses the bouquet, make sure she gets her own coverage before the baby comes.

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.