Can I Put my Child on Health Insurance?

A number of significant changes will be seen in the health care industry over the next several years, some of them welcome and some of them not. One noteworthy change that has already been established is that children may remain on their parents’ health insurance policy until the age of 26. Some insurance companies have allowed children to remain on a parent policy until this limit for years, but many companies did not. Due to this change in health reform, there will ideally be a considerable increase in the number of young people who have health insurance coverage.

Age Requirements for Children

As many people are aware, the current health care reform act caused changes to the requirements for age restrictions on children. Before this, many insurance companies would not allow children to remain on a parent’s policy after a certain age. Health reform put into effect a requirement with which all health insurance companies must comply. It maintains that children are allowed to remain on their parents’ policy until age 26 regardless of whether or not they are students.

No Denials for Children

In addition to the age limit modification brought on by health reform, another important aspect changed regarding children as well. Already in effect, health reform does not allow insurance companies to deny children health insurance due to preexisting conditions. In the past, if a child had a serious illness or medical condition, insurance companies could deny them coverage. Insurance companies could not cancel someone due to illness, but they could decline new applications for health insurance; now they can do neither.

Group Coverage

Group coverage allows children to be added to a policy at a couple of different times. Most policies require health insurance companies to cover newborns for the first 30-60 days of life. During that time frame, parents should make any necessary changes to the group policy to add the new member of the family; this can occur any time during the year because it is a special enrollment due to a life changing event. Children can also be added to group coverage during the open enrollment period, wherein employees can make changes to their health insurance.

Individual Coverage

Children can be added to existing individual health insurance plans, although some companies may require a new family policy to be created, while others will just add the child to the existing plan. In most cases, paperwork or an application needs to be completed with the information about the child being added to the plan. Again, as with group insurance, in most cases newborns and adopted children are covered during the first 30 to 60 days of their lives, depending on location.

There are many changes to health insurance recently, especially in regard to health insurance plans that include children. Additionally, children with who have preexisting health problems can no longer be denied adequate coverage. With age requirement changes, parents are able to keep their children on their health insurance policy longer. Having children on a parental health insurance plan for a longer span of time provides much needed coverage for many young people.