Two Large Health Insurers Extend Coverage To Young AdultsThe Wall Street Journal / Dow Jones: Two large U.S. health insurers have announced plans "to keep young adults on their parents' policies before a new law requiring such action goes into effect, and the government is working to get others to do the same. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, citing the insurers' moves, said Monday her department is 'working hard with other insurers on similar proposals' and sent letters offering to assist them in such efforts. WellPoint Inc. (WLP), the largest health insurer by medical membership, said Monday it will take steps to prevent a coverage gap that could otherwise leave many young adults uninsured. Its announcement closely followed a similar one from UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH), the largest health insurer by revenue." Traditionally, in June many young adults are no longer eligible for health insurance coverage through their parents' health insurance policies "because of their age or student status. The health overhaul signed into law last month will, as of late September, allow most adult children under age 26 to stay on their parents' policies. Without early action by health insurers, many graduating college students could face a coverage gap this summer" (Brin, 4/19).
NPR Shots Blog: "United figures the change in policy could help at least 150,000 graduating seniors and their families from having to find temporary coverage between this spring and the time the new requirement becomes effective. ... The new policy applies largely to companies that are 'fully insured' by United, meaning that United accepts all risk for employees' medical costs. That's about a third of its business, Mason said. ... United with working with companies that 'self insure,' or decide what benefits to offer and simply use United to process bills, to implement the changes. WellPoint, for its part, said, the change would be automatic for its affiliated plans but optional for the policies administered on behalf of self-insured clients" (Rovner, 4/19).
Business Courier of Cincinnati: "Both insurers' plans will take effect June 1" (4/19). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.