Life moves quickly. It feels like yesterday you watched your child take his or her first wobbly steps. Today they’re confidently stepping across the graduation stage. Tomorrow you’re anxiously stepping into the hospital to meet your first grandchild. No matter what your child’s next step is, you want to be there for them. That includes being there when it comes to their health insurance coverage.
Many parents with children on their health plan are unsure if they must remove their child the moment they turn 26. Wondering how long your child can stay on your plan is a common concern among parents.
When it comes to your employer group health plan, there are a couple of factors that you need to consider when asking if your child is still eligible to be on your plan. With small employers (less than 50 eligible employees), your child can stay on your group health plan until the end of the calendar year in which they turn 26 years old unless otherwise stated in your employee handbook that is provided by your employer. These rules can differ depending on your employer, so always check with your human resources department to be sure of the rules for your company.
Large employers (50 or more eligible employees) are a little different. Large employers can choose how long their employees can keep children on their plan once they turn 26. The rules for this will be stated in your employee handbook. Plans for large employers include the options to remove the child the date they turn 26, the last day of the month in which the child turns 26, or to keep the child on the group health plan until the end of the calendar year in which they turn 26.
If you are working for a large company, (50 or more eligible employees) you will want to consult your employee handbook and be sure you speak with your human resources department to find out what your company rules are for children who are turning 26 years old.