Dependent Coverage

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States with Dependent Coverage Strategy

  • Effective January 1, 2006, unmarried children are considered dependents and remain eligible for health insurance until their 25th birthday if they: a) maintain the same legal residence as the parent; or b) are financially dependent on the parent. Dependent coverage is paid for by policyholder premium. Children previously maintained dependent status only as full-time students up to age 24. (H.B. 1101)

  • Effective January 1, 2009 Connecticut requires that all group health insurance policies cover children up to age 26. (S.B. 1484)


  • Signed by the Governor in 2006, the state passed legislation (HB 446) that requires commercial health insurance to continue coverage for unmarried adult children with no dependents under a pre-existing family policy until those children turn 24 years of age, provided that the children either live in Delaware or are full-time students. There is an additional premium charge for the continued coverage if the parents opt to cover their dependents.


  • Legislation (Florida 627.6562) allows for young adults up to age 25 who are not married and either live with their parents or are financially dependent to remain on their parents’ health insurance. 

  • In March 2007, Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter (R) signed into law Senate Bill 1105 which expands the definition of ‘dependent.’ Under the new law, unmarried non-students can remain on their parents’ insurance until the age of 21 and unmarried, financially dependent, full-time students can remain on parental insurance until the age of 25. Finally, unmarried children designated as disabled can remain a dependent for insurance purposes up until any age.


  • Parents in Illinois have the option of keeping dependents on their health insurance coverage until age 26. Additionally, dependents who are veterans can maintain their parent's coverage until age 30. (Public Act 095-0958)

  • In May 2007, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels (R) signed into law House Bill 1678 that requires commercial health insurers and health maintenance organizations to cover dependents up until the age of 24, at the policyholder’s request.

  • H.F. 2539 requires health insurance carriers to allow dependents to maintain their parent's coverage if the child is under age 25, a full-time student, or has a disability. 

  • L.D. 841 requires individual and group health insurance policies to continue health coverage young adults up to the age of 25 as long as they are financially dependent and have no dependents of their own.


  • Enacted legislation in 2007 (House Bill 1057) allows young adults (including child dependents of domestic partners) to remain eligible for insurance until the age of 25 if the individual resides with the insured policyholder and is unmarried.


  • Massachusett's comprehensive reform, as outlined in Chapter 58 of the Acts of 2006, also allows for dependents to stay on their parent's coverage until age 25.

  • Legislation was enacted in 2007 (HF 1078) which expanded the definition of dependent coverage such that a commercial health plan may not terminate coverage of an unmarried child under the age of 25, regardless of student status.

  • SB 419 defines adults up to age 25 as dependents for the purposes of health coverage as long as they are not married and not eligible for employer-sponsored coverage that has a same or lower premium as that available through their parents’ plan.


  • Enacted legislation in 2007 (House Bill 790) allows unmarried New Hampshire young adults to remain eligible for insurance until the age of 26 regardless of educational status.

  • A child covered as a dependent may choose to continue under a parent’s policy until reaching age 30.  The child must have no dependents, and must reside in New Jersey or be a full time student.  Eligible children under the age of 30 who lost coverage due to age in the past, but are currently without coverage, can also elect as a dependent under a parent’s plan, but must pay the same premium.

    The child must pay the premium, which can be as much as 102 percent of the cost of covering a child under the limiting age.  This premium is approximately 60 to 80 percent of the single adult premium for a particular carrier. 

    There are approximately 8,000 young adults with this coverage in the New Jersey commercial health market.  (Public Act 2005 c.375)

  • An individual or group health policy may not terminate coverage of an unmarried dependent before the dependent's 25th birthday. This applies regardless of whether the dependent is enrolled in an educational institution. (59A-22-30.1)

  • H.B. 2064 allows unmarried children up to age 23 to remain on their parent's coverage.

  • Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell signed a bill on June 10, 2009 which requires that all group health insurance policies cover children up to age 29.

  • Insurance carriers must cover unmarried dependent children up until the age of 19 or until 25 if the young adult is financially dependent and is at least a part-time student. Rhode Island has special dependent provisions for disabled children. (Public Law 2006-377).

  • In 2007, the South Dakota Legislature passed SB 108. It states that dependents shall have access to insurance up until their 19th birthday. If the young adult is enrolled in an educational institution, they are eligible for insurance until their 29th birthday.


  • Dependents remain eligible for insurance up to their 25th birthday. Passed in 2003, House Bill 1446 extends eligibility for health insurance to students 25 and over as long as they are full-time.

  • Passed in 1994, Utah requires insurance carriers to provide coverage for unmarried dependents until their 26th birthday. This requirement applies to dependents regardless of their educational status.

  • The state of Virginia allows dependents under the age of 25 years living at home as well as dependents who are full-time students under 25 years of age, without regard to whether the dependent resides in the same household as the insured group member, to remain on their parents’ policy.

  • S.B 5930 requires any commercial health plan offering health insurance coverage to allow the option of covering unmarried dependents up until age 25. Additional premiums may be charged to cover these young adult dependents. If the dependent meets certain disability criteria, parents may continue to cover the dependent irrespective of age for the same premium as dependents under age 20. These requirements also apply to the state employee program.