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Does coverage end on the dependent’s 26th birthday?

Coverage does not necessarily end on a dependent's 26th birthday. If you are currently covered under your parent’s health plan and you will be turning 26 soon, your parent’s employer is required, under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, to make coverage available until the end of the month in which you turn 26. However, some plans may cover a dependent until the end of the year in which the dependent turns 26. For example, if you turn 26 on September 15, your coverage may end after September 30, or you may be covered through December 31, depending on your parent’s health plan.

Regardless of the particular plan you have now, it is best to start exploring your options for health coverage well before you turn age 26. It can take time to weigh all of your choices and to find a plan that gives you the coverage you need with premiums you can afford. Waiting too long to choose your health insurance can result in gaps in coverage that could put you at financial risk if you become ill or injured, and may subject you to a penalty fee called the individual shared responsibility payment if the gap lasts more than one or two months.
 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.