I worked hard to make sure that the new health care reform law allows young people up to age 26 to stay on family policies starting this year. This provision will bring relief to roughly 20,500 individuals in Washington who could now have quality affordable coverage through their parents.
Beginning on September 23, 2010, plans and issuers that offer coverage to children on their parents’ policy must allow children to remain on their parents’ policy until they turn 26. This means that starting this fall, insurance companies are required to allow young people to stay on family policies with a new plan or after their open season.
The Department of Health and Human Services is working with insurance companies to begin covering young adults voluntarily before the September 23 implementation date. Many insurance companies, including Group Health and Premera Blue Cross, have agreed to begin implementing this provision early. Early implementation would avoid gaps in coverage for new college graduates and other young adults and save on insurance company administrative costs of dis-enrolling and re-enrolling them between May 2010 and September 23, 2010. Please contact your individual insurance company to determine if your plan will be implementing this provision before September 23.