N.Y.'s Patterson Proposes Dependent Health Coverage Extension

January 8, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A new plan by New York Governor David Patterson would mandate employers buying health coverage from commercial insurers to provide dependent benefits up to age 29.

A Patterson Web site announcement about the proposal said although New York law does not require employers to offer dependent coverage, employers who choose to do so now typically offer parents coverage for dependents through age 18 and extend it through age 22 for dependents attending college. The proposed change would remove the college attendance requirement.

Patterson said his proposed legislation is aimed at reducing the number of New Yorkers without health insurance, noting that 31% of the state’s uninsured are between the ages of 19 and 29.

According to the announcement, while employers could require employees to pick up the full cost of the extended coverage, that expense would likely be significantly less than what might be available individually since it would be purchased as part of a group policy and is age related.

Patterson said   Based on New Jersey’s experience, families could expect to pay 20% to 40% less than current rates available under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act(COBRA) program.

More information is available here .