Turning 26? Your Guide To Getting Health Insurance

The time has come. You made it to 26 with health insurance coverage through your parents. But now your birthday is approaching  and are getting kicked off your parent’s health insurance plan. You may be wondering if you can stay on your parents’ health insurance longer. The answer to this is, unfortunately, no. You will get kicked off the plan at

Birthday cake with canles "26" on it lit.
When you turn 26 years old, tjere is a deadline for your hralth insurance. You will have to get your own plan.

either the end of the month that you turn 26, or at the end of the year.  Its inevitable, but where do you start?

The Options

If you are employed, then you can join your company’s health insurance plan if they have one. Another option is to hop on your spouse’s health plan if you are married. If none of these options apply to you, then your only choice is to get your own health insurance plan. Those options are:


  • Long-term Plans


When you turn 26, you qualify for a special enrollment period for Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA). You also have the option of getting private insurance in which licensed health insurance agents are able to create a policy that is unique to your specific needs using a full spectrum of different insurance companies. It is important to shop around because these plans are sometimes cheaper than the marketplace insurance plans. Long-term plans offer more comprehensive coverage. These plans help manage day to day expenses and are convenient for those that require routine medical work, such as medication, lab work, and inpatient/outpatient services. Major medical health insurance complies with the ACA requirements which means it provides the ten essential health benefits.

Essentially, when you are over 26 years old and are no longer on your parent’s plan, then a major medical plan is best if you are looking for coverage of pre-existing conditions, and need routine medical work , such as medication,

Two signs that say short-term and long-term on them pointing in different directions.
The two options for health insurance are short-term and long-term. Short term plans do not cover pre-existing conditions, only the basics.  If you need comprehensive coverage, long-term is best.

lab work, and inpatient and outpatient services. Major medical health insurance complies with the ACA requirements which means it provides the ten essential health benefits. These ten essential benefits are: ambulatory patient services, prescription drugs, emergency care, mental health services, hospitalization, rehabilitative services, preventative and wellness services, laboratory services, pediatric care, and maternity and newborn care.


  • Short-Term Plans


Unlike long-term plans, their short-term counterparts do not need a qualifying life event to enroll. Short term health insurance provides fast, flexible insurance with many benefits. These plans can be extended up to 3 years, and you can pick your deductible amount from many options. You are also able to drop coverage without a penalty if you want to change to a long term insurance option. Premiums are lower than ACA health insurance plans, and you get coverage as soon as a day after applying.

It is important to understand that short-term insurance is temporary and not ideal for those who require more comprehensive coverage or have health conditions. Short term plans are not guaranteed issue, meaning they do not cover pre-existing conditions. They only cover the basics. 

When you consider purchasing health insurance, you have to think about how much you want to pay, the coverage provided, and which term length is best for you. It can be quite overwhelming when you embark on this new journey. EZ.Insure can help. We will provide you with a highly trained agent within your area that can provide you quotes and plans from all the different health insurance companies in your region. To get started, enter your zip code in the bar above. Or to speak to an agent call 888-350-1890, or email replies@ez.insure. We will go over everything with you and help you decide if this plan best suits your needs. If it does not, then we will direct you to other plans.

About The Author:
Cassandra Love

With over a decade of helpful content experience Cassandra has dedicated her career to making sure people have access to relevant, easy to understand, and valuable information. After realizing a huge knowledge gap Cassandra spent years researching and working with health insurance companies to create accessible guides and articles to walk anyone through every aspect of the insurance process.

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