YAs and Parent’s Health Insurance

Last Modified: October 1, 2010


Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

How does the health care reform affect how long I can stay on my parent’s insurance? I am in college, but probably have to drop out this semester cause the chemo is kicking my butt. Really worried about losing coverage- I know my parents are really stressed about it.


Carolyn Vachani RN, MSN, AOCN, OncoLink's Nurse Educator, responds:

Some health insurance changes went into effect on September 23, 2010 that relates to your question and other young adult issues. Young adults can be covered on their parent’s insurance plan up to their 26th birthday, regardless of whether or not they are students (they can even be married!). There are some restrictions, so check out the links below for more information and talk to the HR representative at the company that is providing the insurance.

Kairol Rosenthal, author of Everything Changes, the Insider’s Guide to Cancer in Your 20’s and 30’s, discusses some of the changes on her blog.

More information from HealthCare.gov

More information from Families USA

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series, Issues Facing Young Adults After Cancer. View the entire transcript.