CO Measure Would Permit Grandchildren Health Coverage

April 14, 2006 ( - A Colorado lawmaker is pushing a bill that would permit grandparents to list their grandchildren on their health insurance policies.

HB 1346, sponsored by state Senator Brandon Shaffer, would require employers to allow their workers to carry their grandchildren as dependents. Additional costs would be passed on to the employee, according to a Rocky Mountain News report. The bill does not cover federal employees, self-insured employers or companies that purchase coverage from an out-of-state health plan.

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee voted 4-3 this week to advance the bill to the full Senate, according to the news report.

“There are people in Colorado being told that if their child stays in their home, they cannot add their grandchildren to their health care coverage,” Shaffer told the News. “The choice they say they have to make is to evict (the) child and grandchild so they can be put on a state-supported plan.”

Representatives of small business groups urged lawmakers to reject the measure, complaining that small businesses, which comprise 91% of the state’s employers, would shoulder the burden. Even though most of the costs will be paid by employees, employers will still see premiums rise, they say.

“The last thing employers need is another costly mandate,” said Ralph Pollock of the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry, in the news report. “Shifting it to the backs of employers who can least afford it only increases the uninsured problem.”