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I’m covered as a young adult dependent on my parent’s policy now, but my 26th birthday is next summer, at which point I won’t be eligible for dependent coverage any longer. Should I apply for Marketplace health plans and subsidies now, during Open Enrollment?

You can remain covered as a dependent on your parent’s policy until you turn 26. Once you lose eligibility as a dependent, you will qualify for a special enrollment opportunity. At that point, you will also be able to apply for health coverage and assistance through the Marketplace, even though it won’t be during a regular Open Enrollment period.  In addition, if your parent’s policy is a group plan offered by an employer with at least 20 workers, you would also be able to continue coverage under the policy through COBRA for up to 3 years.  However, the employer contribution to the premium would end and Marketplace subsidies cannot be applied to the COBRA coverage.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.