The Department of Labor just issued new guidance on health reform’s dependent coverage mandate, which is set to take effect this fall.
Thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act employers and insurers with health plans that offer dependent coverage must make that coverage available to employees’ children until they turn 26.
That mandate is scheduled to take effect on Sept. 23, 2010.
And the first in what’s expected to be a long line of guidance and regulations from the DOL answers two key questions about the dependent coverage rule:
- Can benefits for young adults (say those between 18 and 26) be limited so they are narrower than what’s offered to other dependents? No. Young adults must be offered the same level of coverage as younger dependent children.
- Can employers or insurers charge higher rates to insure young adults who remain on their parents’ plans than they charge for younger children? No. Employers and insurers can’t charge more for the coverage of young adults than they charge for other dependents.
The DOL also revealed that employers will not be required to offer coverage to children of dependent children, or spouses of eligible dependents — and the coverage requirements are terminated as soon as dependents turn 26.
Info: The new guidance can be found here, and an FAQ sheet on the coverage mandate can be found here.