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When Do You Get Kicked Off Your Parents’ Insurance?

Here’s what you need to know about getting your own health insurance.

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When you turn 25, Leonardo DiCaprio dumps you. And when you turn 26, your parents’ health insurance dumps you.

If you’re a young professional still trying to navigate this whole adulting thing, you might be wondering: Is there any way I stay on my parents’ insurance until I’m 30? A few states may let you do so, depending on your situation.

Can You Stay on Your Parent’s Insurance Past 26?

This depends on where you live. Here’s a chart of what states in the U.S. allow young adults to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans after 26, based on information from the National Conference of State Legislatures:

State
Age Limit
Cirumstances
Florida30Lives with parent or enrolled as a student, unmarried, no dependents.
GeorgiaNo limitDisability that prevents self-sustaining employment—on parents’ indefinitely.
IdahoNo limitDisability—on parents’ indefinitely.
Illinois30This only applies to veterans.
IndianaNo limitDisability that prevents self-sustaining employment—on parents’ indefinitely.
IowaNo limitDisability that prevents self-sustaining employment—on parents’ indefinitely.
MassNo limitDisability that prevents self-sustaining employment—on parents’ indefinitely.
MinnesotaNo limitDisability—on parents’ indefinitely.
MissouriNo limitDisability that prevents self-sustaining employment—on parents’ indefinitely.
NevadaNo limitDisability that prevents self-sustaining employment—on parents’ indefinitely.
New Jersey31Is unmarried and has no dependents.
New York30 or no limitResident of NY, unmarried—on parents’ until age 30. Disability that prevents self-sustaining employment—on parents’ indefinitely.
OhioNo limitDisability that prevents self-sustaining employment—on parents’ indefinitely.
OregonNo limitDisability—on parents’ indefinitely.
Penn30Is full-time student, PA resident, unmarried, has no dependents.
Rhode IslandNo limitDisability—on parents’ indefinitely.
South CarolinaNo limitDisability that prevents self-sustaining employment—on parents’ indefinitely.
South Dakota29 or no limitIs full-time student—on parents’ indefinitely. Disability that prevents self-sustaining employment—on parents’ indefinitely.
Wisconsin27Is unmarried and without the option to get health insurance through employer.

You can find more information about health insurance coverage for young adults from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

For the most part, young adults can expect to lose their coverage soon after they turn 26. So, your best option is to do some research and start planning.

After Turning 26, What Are My Health Insurance Options?

If you’re turning 26 soon and work a full-time job, your employer may offer health insurance benefits. You may be familiar with open enrollment, which is an employee’s yearly opportunity to sign up for the benefits their company may offer with full-time employment—including health insurance. However, turning 26 is considered a “qualifying life event,” which means you’re eligible for a special enrollment period outside of the standard open enrollment. Here’s the catch: You only have 60 days to enroll, so it’s best to know your plan before your birthday.

The most common plans on the health insurance menu include health maintenance organization, preferred provider organization, and high-deductible healthcare plan. Then, depending on the plan you choose, you can also elect to enroll in a health savings account or a flexible savings account.

What Is an HMO?

A health maintenance organization, or HMO, has the most limits of the plans. This plan’s coverage only includes doctors who work with the HMO, and out-of-network care is not covered except in emergencies. If you need to see a specialist, you’ll need a referral from your primary care physician, or else your insurance won’t cover the cost. If you expect your regular medical expenses to be relatively high, an HDHP might be right for you.

What Is a PPO?

A preferred provider organization, or PPO, contracts with a network of medical providers that you can use, such as doctors and dentists. With this plan, you have to pay a certain amount for your healthcare services before your insurance kicks in and pays the costs for you. This is known as a deductible, and these out-of-pocket costs vary depending on the plan your company offers. If you want to use a medical provider outside of the plan, you have to pay an additional cost.

What Is an HDHP?

As the name suggests, high-deductible healthcare plan, or HDHP, offers lower premiums, which is the amount you are billed every month to keep your coverage, but your deductible is higher. Plans with deductibles of at least s $1,600 for individuals and $3,200 for families fall into the HDHP category, as defined by the IRS.

On the bright side, individuals can often use an HSA (or in some cases, an FSA) to pay for expenses not covered by their plans.

What Is the Difference Between an FSA and an HSA?

A flexible savings account, or FSA, functions like a medical expenses-specific bank account to pay for out-of-pocket costs with tax-free dollars. An FSA can be used with any health insurance plan if your employer offers it. However, FSAs come with a few restrictions. First, you need to figure out how much you want to contribute at the beginning of the year.For 2024, individual contributions are limited to $3,200 and the maximum amount that can be carried over into 2025 is $640. If your employer makes contributions, it won’t count toward your designated maximum. Second, unused dollars don’t roll over.

If you enroll in an HDHP, you qualify for a health savings account, or HSA, which both you and your employer can contribute to. You can contribute, invest, and withdraw dollars to cover qualifying medical expenses tax-free. Plus, the money rolls over every year. However, there are contribution limits. For 2024, the annual limit for individuals with self-only coverage is $4,150. For family coverage, the limit is $8,300.

After Turning 26, What Are My Health Insurance Options if I’m Not a Full-Time Employee?

If you work in the gig economy, work part-time, or are unemployed, your health insurance options include:

Why Do I Need Health Insurance?

After turning 26, health insurance is still necessary. Medical debt doesn’t pick and choose—it affects both the uninsured and insured. According to a study from the Kaiser Family Foundation, 41% of adults carry debt from medical or dental bills.

Make your plan before this big birthday sneaks up on you—life can take unexpected turns and come with unexpected costs, too. Take the time to evaluate your options so that you can find a plan that fits your needs and situation.

A previous version of this article appeared Oct. 5, 2022.

The author or authors do not own shares in any securities mentioned in this article. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.

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