Enroll your kids

Federal health reform prevents health insurers from denying coverage to children under age 19 due to health issues.

However, most health plans - including individual health plans - will only let you enroll your kids during specific open enrollment periods.

When you can enroll your children

With individual health plans (you buy directly from an insurance company, not through an employer) parents can add their children to their policy or buy a policy for their child from:

Individual health coverage always starts on the 1st of the month. So, if you want coverage to start the next month, you'll need to apply before the 20th.

Exceptions to open enrollment

You don't need to wait for open enrollment as long as you submit your child's application within 31 days of when the:

  • Child no longer qualifies for a state program
  • Child loses coverage due to a divorce
  • Parent's employer coverage (including COBRA) ends
  • Child moves and their plan isn't available in the new location


  • You enroll within 60 days of the child's birth, adoption or placement for adoption.

Options outside of open enrollment

Also, if your child qualifies for the state's Apple Health (www.hrsa.dshs.wa.gov) program, then you can apply at anytime throughout the year. You can apply on online (www.washingtonconnection.org) or by calling: 877-543-7669.

Updated 03/27/2014

See also

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