Obamacare: coverage for college drop-outs

Under the new rules for insurance a child can have insurance under the parent’s policy until 26. I am wondering if they have to be attending college full-time to be on our insurance.  My daughter is on the verge of dropping out, and I told her she would lose her insurance if she did.  I’ll do anything to keep her from leaving school.  But am I right about this?

Future Grad’s Dad

Dear Future Grad’s Dad,

You are correct that health reform requires most plans to cover children up to age 26.  (There are a few exceptions: plans that did not cover children at all.) But she is not required to be attending college in order to stay on your plan.  You may not want her to find out that she is also not required to be living with you, to be financially dependent upon you, or to be unmarried. If she did get married, your plan cannot cover her spouse however.

You will have to find another way to keep her in school.  She will need to have her own insurance at age 26, or a way to pay for COBRA, if your plan offers it.  Finishing her degree will certainly help her get a job and be able to afford that.

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.