We’ve been talking about the healthcare reform provisions that kicked in yesterday (September 23rd), for a while now, and one provision that has generated a lot of interest is the one that requires health insurers to allow parents to add their adult children to their health insurance plans. However, although the trigger date for that to go into effect was September 23rd, many parents are now writing in to us, puzzled that they aren’t allowed to add their children to their health insurance until January of next year and in some cases, even later.
By now, most of you know that under healthcare reform, health insurers carrier are required to allow parents to add adult children up to the age of 26 to their health insurance policy. The new healthcare reform law is expected to be lifeline to health insurance for young people who have otherwise aged out of their parents’ health insurance policies. Young people have particularly hard hit with unemployment and underemployment during the economic downturn, and many have struggled to find employment with health insurance benefits.
Unfortunately, although private health insureres were required to comply with the requirement by September 23rd (and most health insurers complied well ahead of the deadline), employers were not required to comply until the beginning of the first benefit year after the September 23rd date. For most employers, that is not until January, but some do not begin their next benefit year until March or even July.
Where does that leave adult children caught in the “coverage gap”? Unfortunately, they are stuck with the same health insurance options they have always had, generally student health insurance or their own individual health insurance policies. While neither should be terribly expensive options for most healthy young people, each have significant downsides. If your child has a pre-existing condition, an individual health insurance policy may not be a feasible option, and the benefits available under student health insurance may not be adequate for your child.
Are you planning to add your child to your health insurance? Tell us about it!
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