December 28, 2023
Prospective divorcing parties in New York need to know about its “Age 29 Law.” This law permits young adults to continue or obtain coverage under a parent’s policy through the age of 29.
To qualify for the “Age 29” law, a young adult must:
- Be unmarried
- Be 29 years of age or under
- Not be insured by or eligible for comprehensive health insurance through their own employer
- Live, work, or reside in New York State or the health insurance company’s service area
The young adult need not live with either parent, be financially dependent on either parent, or be a student. This might comes as a surprise to some New York divorce lawyers.
A child in New York is no longer a minor at the age of 21; however, the child’s divorcing parents may agree to a later age for purposes of child support payments. Similarly, they may and often do agree that a child will remain covered by a parent’s insurance until the age of 26, which is consistent with federal law. These choices are common knowledge among matrimonial lawyers.
However, a common misconception, even among matrimonial lawyers, is that 26 is the outside age for a young adult to be covered by a parent’s insurance in New York. This is incorrect. Under the Age 29 Law, a young adult who meets the criteria above may be covered, even if the divorcing parties did not intend it.
For that reason it’s important to know of the existence of the Age 29 Law and to take it into account as you plan for your children’s future insurance needs. For many divorcing couples, ruling out the application of the Age 29 Law may be more important than the options it affords. A well-written divorce agreement makes clear the divorcing spouses’ mutual intent. For this you need an experienced matrimonial lawyer with knowledge of current law. Our firm is well-qualified and we have helped numerous clients in this way.
Brett E. Jones