PA Employers Can Cover Adult Dependents up to Age 30

June 16, 2009 ( - Pennsylvania employers will have the option of covering uninsured single adult children up to age 30 as dependents on their parents' health policy, according to a new bill signed into law by Governor Edward Rendell.

According to a statement on Rendell’s Web site, S.B. 189 goes into effect in six months and the adult dependent coverage will become available on a rolling basis as employer group health contracts are renewed. The bill allows employers to increase employee premiums to fund the additional coverage.       

The adult dependents cannot be married or have dependents, and must be Pennsylvania residents or enrolled as full-time students at an accredited institution of higher education. The individuals cannot be covered under another group or individual plan.

According to a Business Insurance report, the measure applies to policies bought by employers from commercial health insurers and health maintenance organizations, but exempts self-funded plans because of an Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) provision that pre-empts state laws or rules that relate to employee benefit plans.

“(The bill) will be the answer to the prayers of parents whose kids will be graduating from college and will be kicked off their health insurance policies because they’ve reached the maximum age,” Rendell said in the Web statement. “Parents and kids are stressed because the kids are now uninsured and are having trouble finding jobs, with health insurance, due to the current economic situation.”

According to a 2008 survey by the state Insurance Department, there are 383,298 uninsured Pennsylvanians between ages 19-29, which accounts for 40% of the total uninsured population, the Rendell Web statement said.

The Rendell statement is available here