Adult Dependent Coverage Bumps Up Employer Cost

April 11, 2013 ( – The adult dependent mandate (ADM) of the federal health insurance reform law increased employers' health care costs.

The implementation of the ADM provision of the law does not come without costs, notes Paul Fronstin, director of the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s (EBRI’s) Health Research and Education Program, and author of an EBRI research report. “With respect to the experience of one specific large employer examined in the EBRI analysis, following implementation of the mandate, health care spending increased by $2 million, representing 0.2% of total health care spending.”

Average spending in the ADM cohort was 15% higher than in the comparison group.

Coverage is more likely to be used for adult children with depression, substance abuse and pregnancy, according to the research.  EBRI said its findings are the first to identify the major treatments it was used for.

Under the Pension Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), group health plans that offer dependent coverage are required to make that coverage available to workers’ children till they reach the age of 26, regardless of student status, marital status or financial support by the employees.

The research report can be found online at