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Graduating seniors now able to stay on parent’s health insurance plans

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WASHINGTON, DC – May 28, 2010 — With college graduation ceremonies taking place across Massachusetts, Congresswoman Niki Tsongas is reminding Fifth District families that young adults are now able to stay on their parent’s health insurance plans until the age of 26. This new regulation was part of the recently passed health care reform law. Although insurers are not required to comply with the new regulation until September, many insurance companies are choosing to do so ahead of time.

“As young people start out in the world, many are unable to afford health care coverage as they look for a job or enter graduate school,” said Congresswoman Tsongas. “Allowing young adults to stay on their parents plan as they establish themselves makes good financial sense and increases the options available to young people.”

The ability of parents to keep children on their insurance plans until the age of 26 was included as part of health care reform in part because nearly 30% of young adults are uninsured, a rate that is higher than any other age group. One in six young adults has a chronic illness like cancer, diabetes or asthma.

According to an analysis of this provision, adding young adult coverage would increase average family premiums by as little as .7% while allowing 1.2 million young Americans to be covered under their parents’ plan through an employer or the individual market.

If early coverage is not an option with your employer or insurance company, then young adults will qualify for an open enrollment period to join their parents’ family plan or policy beginning on or after September 23, 2010. Insurers and employers are required to provide notice for this special open enrollment period.

Fifth District residents who would like more information about this provision are invited to call Congresswoman Niki Tsongas’ office at 978-459-0101.

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