What are options for dependents 26 or younger who lose their health plan?

If you are age 26 or younger and you have lost your health plan you have several good options for obtaining health insurance.
  • You may be able to get coverage under your parent’s health plan. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) requires plans and issuers that offer child coverage to make the coverage available until the adult child reaches the age of 26.
  • You may be able to obtain a student health plan. If you are a college student, look on your college website or talk to someone in the administrative office to find out if you can sign up for coverage through your college. These plans tend to be affordable and provide at least the minimum essential coverage required by the PPACA.
  • Talk to your own employer, if you have a job, to see if you can receive coverage through your employer’s health plan.
  • You can shop on the health insurance marketplace for a plan by going to The fact that you have lost your previous health plan can count as a “qualifying life event,” which makes you eligible for enrolling in a health plan during a special enrollment period.
  • If your income is low or you have certain life circumstances, you could qualify for free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid. To find out, visit or contact the Medicaid office in your state.
One last option is to forego health insurance coverage, but this will require paying a penalty to the federal government, generally either 2.5% of household income (up to the cost of an average Bronze health plan) or a per-person fee ($695 per adult, $347.50 per child, up to $2,085), whichever is higher. 

Continue Learning about Healthcare Reform

How will U.S. healthcare reform affect my quality of care?
Joane GoodroeJoane Goodroe
Health care reform includes a focus on improving quality and providing data that individuals can use...
More Answers
Are We Over Reliant on Medical Technology?
Are We Over Reliant on Medical Technology?
Is There a Shift from Sick Care to Disease Prevention?
Is There a Shift  from Sick Care to Disease Prevention?
Would You Describe This as Healthcare for the Future?
Would You Describe This as Healthcare for the Future?

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.