Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
Federal Employee Unions Pressing For Bill To Cover Young Adults
Roll Call reports that "labor unions representing federal employees are pressing for temporary health insurance coverage for college-age students who will otherwise be thrown off their parents' health insurance plans when they turn 22 years old." The new health law has a provision guaranteeing such access but that isn't scheduled to take effect for federal health beneficiaries until January, even though a number of private plans are moving to implement the coverage earlier. Several members of Congress, including Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., are sponsoring a bill to give the government the authority to move more quickly to cover the young people. The "National Association of Letter Carriers and the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association are lobbying extensively for Van Hollen's bill." Insurance companies, which have been bashed by Democrats during the health care debate, "are claiming the moral high ground. ... Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesman for America's Health Insurance Plans, said his organization's members, some of whom administer federal benefits, are standing ready to carry dependent adults. They're just waiting on lawmakers to act" (Murray, 5/19).
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