Pink Fire Pointer Healthcare Reform Update - 10May2010

Healthcare Reform Update - 10May2010

New Regulations Announced for the Extension of Dependent Coverage
  • The Obama administration announced new rules that will allow unmarried young adults who are not eligible for coverage elsewhere to remain on their parents' insurance until age 26 beginning this month.
  • The extension of dependent eligibility is mandated as part of the new healthcare reform law, though the original effective date for this provision was Sept. 23, 2010. Moving the effective date up will permit young graduates and others to keep coverage following graduation.
  • In April, Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, wrote to insurers throughout the US requesting the move-up date; nearly 70 insurers agreed. Obama requested that employer-sponsored healthcare plans match the earlier date.
  • This announcement spells out more of the details surrounding this provision:
  • The option is only a requirement for plans that already offer dependent coverage.
  • The insurer is allowed to charge more for the adult's dependent coverage if "similarly situated" adults could be charged more.
  • The policy applies regardless of whether the dependent adult is married or single, but spouses and the dependent's own children do not have to be covered.
  • There's no requirement for employers to pay the premiums for an added dependent (the law's specifics have yet to be written), but the intention is for all dependents to be treated equally. So if an employer is paying 50 percent of dependent premiums on existing children, then adding an adult dependent should, theoretically, entitle an employee to 50 percent of their premiums being covered as well.
  • Employees can keep their adult children on their policy, even if they are not listed as dependents on their income tax return.
  • Read more: