A Consumerism Commentary reader wrote in with the following question:
I called our health insurance company about adding our sons back on our policy and they said they still had to be in school for 12 credit hours. Is this true? They said the new law did not effect them yet. Any answers for this would be great.
It likely is true. Some provisions of the health insurance reform law haven’t taken effect yet. However, a relevant piece of the legislation takes effect September 23, six months after the bill was signed into law. This provision declares that children can be included on parents’ health insurance plans until the age of 26. The reader did not specify the age of the sons, but if they fall into the allowed range, the number of credit hours enrolled in college is irrelevant.
This is good news for many graduates who have finished their education but have been unable to find a job offering benefits. The bottom line for this reader is that later this week, her sons enrolled in less than 12 credit hours will be eligible to be added to her own health insurance plans as long as they are under the age of 26.
The above only applies for insurance coverage that began after the law was enacted in March. Plans that were in existence at that time are grandfathered, and not subject to the new rules yet. If children under the age of 26 do not have access to other employer-based insurance plans, they can be added to parents’ plans to be effective January 1, 2011; the restriction is lifted so this feature is available to all children under the age of 26 on January 1, 2014.
Got any questions? Contact me, and if I don’t know the answer, I’ll research it.
Published or updated September 20, 2010.