Healthcare Reform: Extending Coverage to Young Adults

Many families are excited about this part of healthcare reform.  Prior to healthcare reform, most insurance companies required that children be removed from coverage at the age of 19.  In some cases, if the child was a full-time student they could stay on until they were 21.

Now with healthcare reform, children can stay on their parent’s insurance plan up to the age of 26, making it easier and more affordable for young adults to have healthcare coverage. This change also eliminates many of the strict rules that previously governed this area of healthcare coverage. As long as the child is under the age of 26, they can be covered regardless of whether they are living with the parent, single, in school, or even still considered a dependent.

There are a couple of important things you should remember about this change*:

  • Plan providers are required to offer a 30-day period—no later than the first day of their plan’s next plan year or policy year, beginning on or after September 23, 2010—to allow policy holders to enroll their adult child. The plan provider must notify policy holders of this enrollment opportunity in writing.
  • If the insured enrolls their adult child during this 30-day enrollment period, their plan must cover their adult child from the first day of that plan year or policy year.

As a medical administrative assistant, you may come in contact with parents or young adults who are unaware of this coverage opportunity.  Being able to provide this information to a patient when they are uninsured could help them save a lot of money on healthcare.  For more information, visit the very helpful FAQ’s section on Healthcare.gov, which can be found by clicking here.

*Information provided by www.healthcare.gov

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