HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 7 A new law expanding health insurance to cover adult children on a family policy takes effect today, Governor Edward G. Rendell announced.
"This new law helps to ease some of the stress families are experiencing due to recent college grads having trouble finding a job that offers health benefits," said Governor Rendell. "It takes us one step closer to achieving our goal of providing every Pennsylvanian with access to the health care they want, need and deserve."
The law, Act 4 of 2009, is part of the Governor's Prescription for Pennsylvania -- a sweeping blueprint for improving access, quality and affordability of health care.
Under the law, adult children can continue receiving coverage and care through their parents' employer-based health plans. Prior to this change, insurance companies were only required to cover children on their parents' insurance until the age of 19, if the employer offered dependent coverage.
The Insurance Department estimates that this change will increase access to health care for approximately 15,000 young adults who would be part of a family policy.
The law expands health insurance coverage to allow adults, up to age 30, to remain covered by their parents' health insurance. It will allow uninsured, single, adult children, who either reside in Pennsylvania or are full-time students, to be covered by their parents' health insurance plan. Parents may be responsible for any additional premium costs.
"According to a recent Insurance Department study, young adults, aged 19 to 30, represent the highest number of those without health insurance in our state," said Insurance Commissioner Joel Ario. "Families who have employer-based coverage should immediately contact their benefits administrator because this change does hinge on the employer's willingness to offer it. Coverage can now be applied to health contracts on a rolling basis as contracts are issued or renewed."
For more information on this and other health insurance options, read the latest edition of Consumer News You Can Use at www.insurance.state.pa.us.
Media contacts:Rosanne Placey, Insurance; 717-787-3289Gary Tuma, Governor's Office; 717-783-1116
SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor