Do You Pay for Your Adult Child’s Health Insurance?

money One of the changes that came from the Affordable Care Act benefited young adults. For the first time, people who were between the ages of 18 and 26 could be covered by their parent’s health insurance. However, many parents are finding that they don’t want to, or cannot afford to, pay for the extra cost that covering their adult child adds to their insurance premiums.

There was a survey done by eHealthInsurance. The company is an online seller of individual health insurance policies, through 180 different insurance companies. The survey shows that parents are not very enthused about the idea of paying the extra costs of covering their adult children on their health insurance.

When this part of the Affordable Care Act first appeared, it was hoped that parents would take advantage of it. The idea was that this would be a great way for the 18 to 26 year olds to find health insurance coverage. Typically, this group tends to go completely without insurance. At first, there was some interest in the potential to cover one’s adult children through a parent’s insurance policy, but it seem that this interest has wained over time.

The survey shows that 43% of parents would put their child on their health insurance plan if there was no cost attached to it. In other words, if it were free to do, then 43% of parents surveyed would do it.

30% of parents said that they felt that one year was a fair amount of time to pay for the cost of covering their adult child on their health insurance policy. The implication is that once that year is over, many young adults will once again be going without health insurance coverage.

Another 38% of parents said that they do not plan on keeping their adult child on their health insurance plan until age 26. I think this means that this group of parents will cover their adult children for a while, but don’t intend to cover them all the way from age 18 to age 26. A total of 56% of parents said that they either will not provide any financial assistance for health care to their adult children, or that they would do so for less than one year.

The biggest reason why parents are so reluctant to cover their adult children on a health insurance policy has to do with cost. Employers are going to expect their workers to pay extra on their health insurance premiums after adding a dependent. Doing so, essentially, changes a worker’s health plan from an individual one to a family one. On average, that could cost an extra $158.00 per month.

Image by Refracted Moments on Flickr

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About Jen Thorpe

I have a B.S. in Education and am a former teacher and day care worker. I started working as a freelance writer in 2010 and have written for many topics here at