Michelle Andrews answers a reader question about keeping your children on your health plan until they turn 26, even if they move away.
ANDREWS: You’re right. Even if an adult child no longer lives nearby, in most instances the health reform law allows him to stay on your health plan until he turns 26. As a practical matter, though, he may run into difficulties. Even though he has insurance he may have a hard time finding providers that are in your health plan’s network if he lives out of state. In that case he — or you — could wind up paying a lot more for him to use out-of-network doctors. Some adult children sidestep the problem by waiting to go to the doctor until they come back home to visit mom and dad. Maybe that will work for your son. But children who have chronic health conditions may have a tougher time delaying medical care. In those cases, you may want to explore other options, like state-based plans that guarantee coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.