Michelle Andrews answers a reader’s question about whether retiree health plans must comply with new rules under the ACA.
ANDREWS: The new company may be correct. Health insurance plans that cover only retirees generally don’t have to abide by the provisions of the Affordable Care Act. I’ve seen this issue come up with older parents who have adult children. Under the health care overhaul, health plans have to allow adult children to remain on their parents’ health insurance plans until the reach age 26 in most instances. But if the parents are retired and covered by a retiree-only plan, those health reform provisions don’t apply. Experts I asked say the rationale may have been a concern by those drafting the law that if they made retiree-only plans subject to it, employers would discontinue coverage. If the plan you’re in contains both active and retired workers, I’m told it would be subject to the law. It’s worth double-checking with the company to make sure that’s not the case.