ACA Facts: Children Covered to Age 26

February 6, 2013

Children Covered to Age 26

Under the ACA, many family and parent insurance plans that previously only covered children up to age 19, an age at which many children are still attending school and don't have access to quality insurance, are now required to cover children up to the age of 26.  This new extended coverage applies regardless of the residence, marital status, education enrollment, or financial dependence/independence of the child. This makes it easier and more affordable for young adults to get health insurance coverage.  As of September 2010, parents must be notified of a 30-day enrollment opportunity in writing no later than the first day of their plan's next "policy year." 

The only exception: Until 2014, "grandfathered" group plans do not have to cover children up to age 26 if the child is eligible for group coverage outside their parent's plan (e.g. if they are eligible for coverage through their job).