Dependent Disabled Adults: Continuation of Private Health Care Coverage


Most states have laws which allow parents to continue health plan coverage for their disabled adult children, even past the point at which a child’s eligibility for dependent coverage would normally terminate because of their age.

California law, for example, allows coverage to continue if the disabled child can’t support him or herself by work because of “intellectual disability or physical handicap” and if the disabled child is “chiefly dependent” on the insured parent for support and maintenance.

States usually require the insured parent to prove to the health plan that their child is disabled and dependent on them. Some states require this proof within a specific number of days before the child would otherwise “age out.” Other states require proof within a specific number of days after the child would otherwise “age out.” There may be a further requirement of re-certifying the child’s continuing disability.

To find out if your state has this kind of law, and if so, what it provides and may require you to do, read your contract (Evidence of Coverage, or Certificate of Coverage) or check with your health plan or state insurance department.

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Please note: the information in this article is not intended to constitute legal advice applicable to specific factual situations.