Early Extension Of Health Insurance For Some Young Adults Faces Legal Roadblocks
The Associated Press reports, in a Q & A, that the provision in the health reform law that requires insurers to allow dependents to stay on plans up to the age of 26 is being enacted early by many health insurance companies but not all in the same way. "These voluntary extensions come with a host of qualifications. Whether your child gets one also can depend on your employer." Insurers aren't required to offer the coverage until Sep. 23.
Here's one q & a: "Can my employer decline to offer this extension even if my insurer announces plans to provide it? A: Yes. Companies that self-insure, or pay their own medical claims and have an insurer administer the policies, can wait until on or after Sept. 23 to start the coverage extensions" About half of those who get insurance at work are in self-insured plans (Murphy, 5/4).
The Washington Post: Meanwhile, lawmakers introduced a measure Tuesday "to extend health-care coverage to the adult children of federal workers before the new federal health-care law takes effect next year. Several health insurance companies plan to extend health-care coverage to adult children up to age 26 starting in June, but current federal law prohibits the [Office of Personnel Management] from doing the same for workers in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program." OPM says that if the law does not pass, government workers who wish to keep dependents on their plans can apply for temporary extensions or put them on an individual policy (O'Keefe, 5/5).
Related, earlier KHN story: Federal Employee Health Program Unlikely To Extend Young Adult Coverage On Parents' Plan This Year (Marcy, 4/27)This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.