Qualifying Event: Age 26

In most cases, turning 26 means you won't be covered under your parent's health plan anymore.1

The good news? Losing your parent's health care coverage when you turn age 26 is a qualifying life event. This means you don’t have to wait for the Open Enrollment Period to sign up for a health plan. Instead, based on where your parent got his or her health plan, you can enroll during the Special Enrollment Period within 60 days of your 26th birthday.

If you want to get coverage through your employer, please call your company's benefits or HR department. You may have a timeline different than 60 days for enrolling in a new plan.

Here's how it works:

Deadlines

If you were covered under a plan your parent bought from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL), you’ll have within 60 days of your 26th birthday to sign up.

If you were covered under a Health Insurance Marketplace plan, meaning you enrolled through the Marketplace website, you’ll have until December 31 of the year you turn age 26 to sign up.

Documentation

Because turning 26 means losing health care coverage, you'll need to send in documentation to finish enrolling in your new plan. Review the list of valid documents.

Why Get Health Care Coverage with BCBSIL?

  • We're a name you can trust. With 80 years of experience, BCBSIL is a trusted name in health care coverage. Stay protected with a company that has stood by generations of Illinois families.
  • Accidents happen. Even if you’re in good health, you never know when you might have an accident or get sick. A trip to the hospital could cost more than you might expect. Learn more about the benefits of health care coverage.
  • You may get financial assistance. BCBSIL has many health plan choices to fit your needs and budget. Plus, you may be able to get help paying your monthly health plan bills with a premium tax credit. Learn how you can estimate your premium tax credit.

Start Shopping Now

If you're 26 and losing coverage under a parent's plan, compare BCBSIL plans and find the right one for you. Looking for more information before you buy? Learn more about our Individual and Family plans.

1 Up to age 26 unless medically disabled. Up to age 30 for unmarried military veterans.

Last Updated: May 10, 2023