Casey Applauds New Insurance Protections for PA Young Adults; Urges Insurers to Notify Employers to Offer This Coverage

WASHINGTON, DC—U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) has sent letters to health insurance companies applauding the decision to not drop health care coverage for new college graduates who would have otherwise lost their health insurance this summer.  Senator Casey also called on insurance companies to inform and encourage employers to offer this extended coverage to their employees.

“For graduates and young adults whose birthdays in 2010 will cause them to become ineligible to continue on their parents’ policies, your decision allowing them to remain on their parents’ health insurance will provide a measure of certainty for them as they start their careers and ease their transition to independence,” Senator Casey wrote. “I also hope that you will reach out to your clients in the group health care market, including employers, to encourage them to choose to extend this option to their employees.”

As a result of the new health care reform law dependents up to the age of 26 would be allowed to stay on their parents’ health insurance plan.  However, this provision does not take effect until September 23, 2010.  Without this action, these young adults would have lost their health insurance coverage when they graduate from college this spring and risk being uninsured until the new law takes effect.

Senator Casey also urged the insurance companies to inform large employers that self-fund their health insurance plans that they can also extend this new coverage to their employees.

Senator Casey sent letters to the largest insurers in Pennsylvania including Aetna, Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Cigna, Humana, UPMC, Geisinger and HealthAmerica.

A copy of the letter sent to the health insurance companies is attached.


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April 28, 2010

I write to thank you for your company’s decision to implement in the individual market the extension of coverage for dependents up to age 26 before this provision of the recently-passed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act takes effect on September 23, 2010.  I also hope that you will reach out to your clients in the group health care market, including employers, to encourage them to choose to extend this option to their employees.

Young adults who are just graduating from college face many uncertainties, and in the current economic climate many may be without jobs upon graduating.  For graduates and young adults whose birthdays in 2010 will cause them to become ineligible to continue on their parents’ policies, your decision allowing them to remain on their parents’ health insurance will provide a measure of certainty for them as they start their careers and ease their transition to independence.

It will also reduce the administrative burden employers and insurers will face after the provision takes effect, because a significant portion of these individuals are expected to re-enroll in their parents’ policies.

Thank you for taking this proactive step to help insure Pennsylvania’s young adults.  If I or my staff can be of assistance to you as you work to implement this change, I encourage you to contact us.

Sincerely,

Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator