Law offering insurance options for adult children now in effect in Pa.

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Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell is reminding insurance companies and state residents that a new law increasing the age limit for a dependent covered under a parent’s health plan took effect Dec. 7.

Ed Rendell

Ed Rendell

As part of Rendell’s Prescription for Pennsylvania health reform plan, Act 4 of 2009 allows adults, up to age 30, to continue receiving coverage and care through their parents’ employer-based health plans. Prior to the law, which Rendell signed in June, insurers were only required to cover children on their parents’ plans up to age 19, if the employer offered dependent coverage at all.

Rendell said the new law “helps to ease some of the stress families are experiencing due to recent college grads having trouble finding a job that offers health benefits.

“It takes us one step closer to achieving our goal of providing every Pennsylvanian with access to the health care they want, need and deserve,” the governor said in a statement.

The Pennsylvania Insurance Department estimates that the new law will increase access to health care for about 15,000 adults who will become part of a family policy. The law allows uninsured, single, adults who either live in Pennsylvania or are full-time students to be covered under their parents’ plans with parents responsible for any additional premium costs.

Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Joel Ario said that according to a PID study, adults ages 19 to 30 represent the highest number of those without health insurance in the state.

“Families who have employer-based coverage should immediately contact their benefits administrator because this change does hinge on the employer’s willingness to offer it,” Ario advised in a statement. “Coverage can now be applied to health contracts on a rolling basis as contracts are issued or renewed.”

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