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My Child is Graduating College, or Turning 26

My Child is Graduating College, or Turning 26

A Qualified Life Event - Information and Support for Faculty and Staff

Your child graduating from college, obtaining their own insurance coverage, or turning 26 allows you to make changes to your insurance coverage because of a qualified life event.The following web page supports Academic Administrators, Faculty, Institutional Officials, P&S, and Merit Supervisory & Merit Confidential employees who are currently employed at the university.

Health, Dental, & Vision Coverage

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires plans offer dependent insurance coverage and to make the coverage available until the adult child reaches the age of 26. At UNI your dependent child may remain on your health, dental, and vision plans until December 31st of the year in which they turn 26. They can be married, with a full-time benefit eligible position, and still remain on your insurance plans. If you do not intend to keep your child on your insurance plans past December 31 of their 26th year, no action is needed. They will be automatically removed effective January 1.

Under the University of Northern Iowa’s group insurance plan if your child is over age 26, unmarried, and a full-time student at a college or university you are eligible to keep your adult child on your health, dental, and/or vision coverage. You will be required to complete an annual student status verification and tax dependent status through Benefits Self-Service.

If your dependent child does not qualify as a tax dependent, you will be taxed on the fair market value of health and dental coverage. This is known as imputed income, and is calculated by taking the difference of what the employer (UNI) contributes to a family plan premium and what the employer contributes to the single plan premium. Covering an overage dependent on your health and dental plan also prohibits the premiums for these plans to be deducted on a pre-tax basis.

Dependents with Disabilities

Coverage is available for an over age 26, unmarried, disabled dependent. The disability must have existed before the dependent child turned 26 or while the child was a full-time student. Wellmark considers a dependent disabled when they meet the following criteria:

  • The child is claimed as a dependent on the employee's, plan member's, subscribers, policyholder's, or retiree's tax return; and
  • Enrolled in and receiving Medicare benefits due to the disability; or
  • Enrolled in and receiving Social Security benefits due to disability.

To make a change due to a life event, please use the Benefits Self-Service system.


Documentation is required in order to add, or continue coverage for a disabled dependent. You will be asked to upload documentation during the Benefit Self-Service process.

  • SSI Card
  • Medicare Card
  • Letter Documenting Disability

Voluntary Term Life (VTL) Insurance and Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D)

  • Benefits will end the last day of the month in which the child turns age 26.
  • A child may continue to be covered under the group policy after age 26 if you primarily support a dependent incapable of self-support as the result of a developmental or physical disability. To continue coverage, you will need to complete an Application to Continue Disabled Child and return to Human Resource Services. We will provide the application to Principal Financial for their review and approval.
  • To end coverage log into Benefits Self-Service and choose the option I Want to Cancel My Voluntary Term Life Policy.

UNI Employee Benefits Self-Service

Benefits Self-Service System is designed to help you enroll, make changes, and view your current benefit elections all in one location. For additional support, visit the Benefits Self-Service Help site.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. 1Q: How long can my dependent stay on my coverage?

    They can stay on your health, dental, and vision coverage until the end of the calendar year in which they turn 26. Voluntary Term Life (VTL) coverage ends on the last day of the month in which they turn 26.

  2. 2Q: After my child graduates when will their coverage end?

    If your child is under the age of 26 they can remain on your coverage. If they are over the age of 26 the coverage will end on the last day of the month in which they graduate.

  3. 3Q: Are there options to keep my over age 26 dependent on my coverage?

    The dependent must be an unmarried, full-time student to remain on your coverage. If they are graduating and over the age of 26 they will be offered COBRA. If your child was considered fully and permanently disabled prior to the age of 26 they may remain on your coverage.

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