Insurers Beat Health Care Reform Deadline on Adult Children Coverage

April 20, 2010 ( – Four large U.S. insurers have announced they will voluntarily allow college students to stay on their parents' health coverage past graduation before being mandated to do so by the health care reform law.

USA Today reported that UnitedHealthcare, Humana, Kaiser Permanente, and WellPoint said they will put into effect some provisions of the new health care law ahead of schedule to let adult children stay on parents’ plans until age 26.According to the news report, the insurers explained they were taking the step before the September 23 deadline so young adults won’t have a coverage gap.

UnitedHealthcare and Humana will immediately allow young adults to remain on parents’ plans until age 26. At WellPoint, which operates 14 Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans nationally, the change takes effect June 1. Kaiser plans to extend coverage before September to consumers who have individual policies and is in discussions with employer groups about their policies.

The news report said it is unclear whether self-insured employers will take the same step for their employees and beneficiaries.

WellPoint will automatically continue coverage for young adults in employers’ self-insured plans unless those companies opt out, the newspaper reported.