Dependent Age 26


Plans that offer coverage to children on their parents’ plan are required to make coverage available until the adult child reaches the age of 26, even if the young adult no longer lives with his or her parents, is not a dependent on a parent’s tax return, or is no longer a student. It clarifies that nothing requires coverage for the children of dependent children.[Section 2714 of H.R. 3590/Section 2301 of H.R. 4872] Until 2014, grandfathered plans are not required to extend coverage if the adult child is eligible for a plan outside of a parent's plan.

Aetna’s take and action

  • We are implementing this change for all plans upon renewal or effective date, on or after September 23, 2010.
  • For insured plans, we will continue to comply with state laws that require coverage beyond age 26.
  • We are providing notices in enrollment kits (as well as through other communication streams) that dependent children whose coverage ended, or were denied coverage, before turning 26 are eligible to enroll in their parents’ plan. Individuals may request enrollment for such children for 30 days from the date of notice.

Questions and answers

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Related Resources

HHS Regulation on Dependent Coverage