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Compliance Assistance Resources

elaws - employment laws assistance for workers and small businesses

- Health Benefits Advisor

Loss of Dependent Child Status

Most group health plans that provide coverage for the dependent children of employees have rules that define when a dependent child ceases to be eligible to be covered under the plan. Usually, the loss of dependent child status is based on the child reaching a specific age set by the plan. Generally, after reaching this age the child is no longer entitled to the plan coverage that the child had while considered to be a dependent. Some plans may provide an extension of the age limit for children who are enrolled in school. Under the rules of some plans, a child may lose dependent child status once the child marries regardless of the age of the child.

It is important that you review the rules of your group health plan and understand the rules governing dependent child status to determine whether or not you are losing coverage due to the loss of dependent child status.

If you are losing (or recently lost) coverage under a group health plan that is sponsored by your parent's employer, employee organization (such as a union), or both, due to a loss of dependent child status, you may have the opportunity to elect COBRA continuation coverage at group rates from that plan. There may also be other opportunities available to you, such as enrollment in another group health plan or other health coverage obtained outside of the group health plan context.

Before making any decisions, you should carefully consider the information on COBRA continuation coverage and the other coverages for which you may be eligible to determine which one best meets your needs.

Which type of coverage would you like to consider?