Children Can Now Stay On Parent's Health Care Policies Until Age 26, And 3 Other Health Care Reforms That Just Kicked In

Several of the provisions of the health care bill’s provisions went into effect on September 23rd, one of the most popular of them being the fact that kids can now stay on their parent’s health care policies until age 26, but there also three other important ones too!

Coverage for these children doesn’t begin until Jan 1, 2011 for employer policies, and you will have to make sure that you add your kid during open-enrollment this fall. You can also add your kid back on if they dropped off because they got too old.

(Incidentally, Consumer’s Union is sponsoring a video contest where you can win $1,000 if you make a really great 3-minute video that shows why the option to stay on your parents’ coverage is awesome.)

Another aspect that kicked in on Sep 23 was that health care companies can’t deny insurance to children with preexisting conditions. Major players in the health care industry responded to this one by instead of denying insurance, it would opt to stop selling child-only health insurance policies entirely. It remains to be seen what other inventive ideas the health care industry will come up with as it adjusts to the new regulations.

Life-time coverage limits are starting to get phased out. These were limits that said after you exceeded a certain level, the insurance company wouldn’t pay anymore – financially devastating for seriously ill patients with chronic conditions. Plans starting between Sep 23 2010 and Sep 23 2011, employer plans can’t have annual limits of less than $750,000, and after Sep 23 2011, the limit rises to $1.25 million.

Finally, after Sep 23, co-pays, coinsurance and meeting deductibles were dropped for a slew of preventative care tests, like blood-pressure, cholesterol, flu shots, colonoscopies, mammograms, diabetes. Check with your insurer to see if you qualify based on age.

Health-Care Reform Provisions Kicking In [Kiplinger]
Understanding The Latest Health Care Changes [NPR]

Health Insurance Companies Really Hate Your Sick Children


Edit Your Comment

  1. El_Fez says:

    Fantastic! Now, how can I arrange getting insurance I can actually afford?

    • jp says:

      Its gets a ‘little’ confusing but this is how it suppose to become affordable for most of us. When the exchanges start up in 2014, people who earn up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level ($88,200 for a family of four) will be eligible for subsidies based on income. If your premium is capped at 9.5 percent, you must have an income of 300 to 400 percent of the poverty level. Lower-income families will have a lower maximum contribution.

      But income is only part of the calculation; the type of plan enters into the equation, as well. Those opting for the higher-end plans, platinum and gold, may wind up paying more than those who choose silver or bronze.

      The premium subsidies will be based on the price of the second lowest cost silver plan in a geographic area. If you sign up for that particular silver plan, you will pay no more than 9.5 percent of your income in premiums. But if you spring for a pricier gold or platinum plan, you will be responsible for paying the difference between that silver premium and those of the more expensive plans.

      • jwinston2 says:

        You forgot to mention Union members who have those “higher-end plans, platinum and gold” will not be paying higher fees, it is only the rest of us that will be.

        I love how everyone is being treated fairly under this plan, Union members are being treated the same as the rest of us.

        • MrEvil says:

          What fees are you talking about? I see nothing about fees here. I’m not union now, but my health insurance is provided to me like a union insurance plan. My health insurance (just for me) is paid by the company as part of my compensation. Back when I was a member of the UFCW it was almost the same situation. For every hour I worked the company payed so much per hour for my health insurance.

    • OnePumpChump says:


    • TehLlama says:

      Well, this didn’t help improve costs. The worst is still yet to come – this is the least unreasonable measure in Obamacare.

      • OnePumpChump says:

        It got more low-risk people into pools. How does this not help costs?

        (Note: the savings may not actually be passed along to you.)

      • Brink006 says:

        Yeah, if we just got that single payer we’d cut out the unnecessary profits of the health care industry, develop a public understanding of preventative care, and could afford to cover more people!

        • Skyhawk says:

          Yes, because the Federal government is so good at running things. I mean, look at how efficient and fraud-free Medicare is…oh, um Social Sec…..nope….Welfare…..yikes….The Post Office…..ok, wait…. Amtrack…….nvm.
          And, don’t forget – until 12-20 illegal aliens GTFO of the country, you and I will be paying for their care as well.

          • theycallmeGinger says:

            Oh I know, and the insurance companies have been doing a great job so far! There’s no bureaucracy and everyone gets treated fairly. Healthcare costs are totally reasonable. No need to intervene whatsoever.

            BTW, you’re already paying for those illegal aliens, not to mention the 16% of uninsured Americans. When they get sick, they get treated — and almost always at the emergency room level (b/c of no preventative care). Who do you think pays for that if they can’t?

          • perkonkrusts says:

            Why does everyone always leave the military off this list? The federal government does a good job of maintaining the best military in the world. Some large cost overruns and other problems, but overall we completely destroy everyone else.

          • MrEvil says:

            So basically you’re saying…


            I guess you’re right though, apart from the Department of energy, Department of transportation, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, NASA, NIST, US Naval observatory, NHTSA, EPA, Department of Defense, and Department of Justice. The government just can’t do a goddamn thing right.

          • richcreamerybutter says:

            Or, maybe we should just apply the for-profit insurance model to police, firefighters, and highways.

    • Bohemian says:

      The 85% rule kicks in at some point. That is where they have to spend 85% of the money they take in on actually paying claims. So the more they charge the more claims they have to pay out. If that lowers premiums or not remains to be seen but the days of just keeping all the money for themselves is going to be over.

    • HowdyHowdyHowdy says:

      Honestly, do you even really need health insurance if you’re a time lord?

    • DariusC says:

      Agreed. My company made healthcare free for employees (before it was 50 bimonthly and if you had kids 125 bimonthly. Now, it is 350 for kids and a wife bimonthly… just kids is 300… No thanks, Ill wait till im 30.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        Wow, that’s a bargain. I pay over $800/month for my family coverage.

        • craptastico says:

          the reason your and my family coverage is so high is because insurance companies have to pay for kids until they’re well into their adult years. remember nothing’s free. anything one person gets, another is paying for.

          • Clyde Barrow says:

            Welcome to the United States of Europe!

          • theycallmeGinger says:

            So it’s better if they aren’t insured at all? If they stay under a parent’s plan, at least some insurance is getting paid for under their name. When they get hurt or sick, there is coverage. Otherwise, we all pay for it. (“anything one person gets, another is paying for.”)

            When everyone is insured, overall costs decrease.

  2. jesirose says:

    Ah, I love all the references to 18-26 year olds as “children”. That’s what the left thinks of you kiddos! 25 years old, voting, driving, drinking, marrying, working, supporting yourself and a family of your own, but still a child! Forget getting a job, stay in school forever and be a child as long as possible!

    This does nothing to fix the problem of adults who actually support themselves, not being able to get coverage in the first place.

    “a $1,000” should be “$1,000”. #corrections.

    • lawnmowerdeth says:

      Except when an 18 year old does something bad, then they’re called adults or referred to as a man or a woman. Noticed this double standard for years.

      • SuperSnackTime says:

        what is the double standard? how is one arbitrary age of “adulthood” applied in the court of law and a different arbitrary age of “adulthood” applied to health care a double standard? Its not like ANY particular age can be uniformly decreed as the “correct” adulthood age for all things under the sun. Arbitrary consistency and arbitrary inconsistency are not different from one another.

    • fs2k2isfun says:


    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Way to ignore the positive of health care reform and instead focus on a completely unrelated negative that detracts what progress that actually has been made.

      You detract from your own cause.

      • jesirose says:

        Many people think this bill is completely negative. I don’t think any progress has been made at all. And plenty of people who agree with, as you put it, my “cause”, take offense at being called Children when they are in fact Adults.

        I certainly don’t claim to speak for the entire right, but I know more people who are against this bill and also don’t like the idea of a 26 year old being called a child, than who are for this bill.

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          Based on your first post, I gathered you supported health care reform.

          But you went all negative on it. You may not agree with the bill as passed, but you didn’t say that. Your comments had a connotation of disagreeing with HC reform entirely, and I could tell that’s not what you wanted to convey.

          This is what I meant. If you support HC reform, but don’t like the current reform, you should say THAT, instead of just throwing negativity at the subject. The negativity is what detracts for your own cause.

          • jesirose says:

            I don’t know how anyone could read my post and think I support THIS reform bill/law/whatever.

            I know changes to the health care system need to be made, because I can’t afford care, and I make 6 figures. (not bragging, explaining).

            The best solution I’ve heard so far is more doctors. This law? It’ll create LESS doctors. There are tons of things to talk negatively about when it comes to this bill. The idea that 25 year olds are kids is one. There are others. This article is about the “kids” part. So…

            • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

              Not sure how you can read MY post and come to the conclusion I thought you DID support this bill. As I very clearly stated, you support change, not necessarily THIS change.

            • cromartie says:

              As someone who actually makes six figures, I call bullshit on this. If you can’t find an insurance plan that fits into a budget that involves $5500 monthly take home pay, you are clearly failing in the personal responsibility department.

              Every republican I know believes in personal responsibility.

              Please, what they actually mean is “those other people” should be responsible for “themselves”, while I take everything I can get. Nothing could be more clearly illustrated than the demographic that most opposes health care reform, elderly white people on Medicare and Social Security.

              Hypocrites from start to finish. Your sad excuse for class snobbery is evident in your initial post. There are plenty of concrete reasons children, excuse me dependents remain on their parents health care policy while they pursue higher education, take leave from the job pool to care for a love one or care for others in their community as a full time volunteer, or save money while transitioning to a life where they can be independent. But heaven forbid we offend the sensibilities of people like you while the little people get a bit of a hand as they work their way through society.

              And since you “can’t afford insurance” on a measly six figures, I can only hope you suffer the same fate as the people whom you oppose helping suffer through every day.

              • jesirose says:

                I never said I can’t afford insurance. I said I can’t afford health care, and what I mean by that is the actual treatment. I have a chronic illness, and I can’t GET insurance. Most of the specialists I’ve contacted won’t even see me without insurance. One would, but wanted $7k for a visit.

                But thanks for playing.

                • ldub says:

                  Wow – that sucks! I’m really sorry to hear that. Hopefully someday – if we keep enough liberals and progressives in power – we’ll have universal health care and you will be able to get good care.

                • Hobz says:

                  The irony…

                • Aedilis says:

                  So let me see if I understand you correctly. You are a person making six figures and are a conservative who believes in personal responsibility. So you then take the time to argue with people on here about the repugnant use of the word children and that the only solution to the healthcare issue that you have heard from is to make more doctors. You end this tree by complaining that due to an illness you have to pay 7 grand to see a doctor every time.

                  I find it hard to believe that all of these statements are true. Who has the time to seriously case enough to fight with people on the Internet about the use of the word children when they are so seriously I’ll that to see a doctor costs you 7 thousand dollars a visit?

                  I think you might want to restate your opinion so it makes sense and you might want to explain what medical affliction you have that requires you to drop down 7 mortgage payments per visit. It might help your credibility.

                • mac-phisto says:

                  lol, so let me get this straight: you have a pre-existing condition which could cause you to exceed coverage limits – BOTH of which are classes that benefit from this bill – & you don’t support it?


                  i don’t get it. how do they can twist people’s minds so effectively against their own interests? you are here arguing against the very thing that will allow you to purchase affordable insurance. that’s amazing.

                  maybe amazing isn’t quite the right word…

        • exconsumer says:

          I’m not sure how much clearer I or others can be. Child, in the English language, is a word that describes both a young person (18 or younger), AND offspring in general (regardless of age). The definition did not suddenly change. Your offense is imaginary.

          • jesirose says:

            Right, I’m imagining all those people talking about how this part of the bill is repugnant. Thanks for letting me know. Maybe I should go get on my mommy’s insurance and go see a doctor about these hallucinations? :-P

            • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

              This is actually the first I’ve ever heard of people finding the 26 age cap as repugnant in the context of what defines a child.

              Then again, I don’t hang with Republican crowds much.

              I’m sorry we can’t come up with new words for things at every occasion. Child certainly has definitions referring to maturity, but it also has meanings to refer to offspring in general regardless of age. You can be 45 and be someone’s child. I’m sorry we couldn’t define a new word to mean the adult offspring at traditional college-age. The word used really has nothing to do with the meaning of the bill anyway.

              • jesirose says:

                You got it – it’s not the word, it’s the concept and the logic behind it. Silly it took you that long to see that.

                It’s not the WORD children, it’s the idea.

                • jebarringer says:

                  Wait, so you’re saying your problem with the use of the word “children” is one entirely made up by yourself, and not anything inherent about the use of the word?

              • jessjj347 says:

                I think I’m going to have to agree to some extent with jesirose here. I think that the spirit of the law is to get health care for dependents (people who still need help from their parents for basic living needs), and so “children” does not just mean simply offspring in this case.

                In fact, as a member of this age bracket I can say that most of the people I know who will take advantage of this inclusion will be living at home with their parents still. Many graduate students I know work and receive health care from their employer. Call it antipodal or not, but I have a very strong sense that this reform will appeal strongly to those still living at home (mostly college grads [undergrad] who haven’t gotten a job yet). I would wager without looking into the stats, that there are more people in the category of living at home than pursuing higher degrees (remember those living at home are not included in unemployment rates necessarily).

        • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

          Of course no progress has been made. It just started. No one will truly be able to say if this bill was a success or failure until it fully goes into effect and has been in effect for a couple of years, say 2016. I know Republicans are eager to point fingers and say it’s already hurting people, but again, 2016. Come back then and bitch about the lack of progress.

        • KTXL says:

          Right, but the people who think it’s “completely negative” are purposely ignorant of what is actually in the bill.

          Like yourself.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      The purpose of the up-to–26 copverage is two-fold:

      Primarily, it’s to ensure those attending higher education can actually get insurance. They are unemployed while at school (to varying degrees) so getting insurance is not in their budget. There is a common gap in insurance from finishing high school to obtaining a career full-time job. It’s seems unfair to tell our children to deducate 4+ years to educating themselves but give them no means of protecting their health while doing it.

      Secondly, young people tend not to get coverage because they are young and don’t need it as much. By adding their premiums it make insurance cheaper for everyone.

      • fs2k2isfun says:

        Actually, prior to the law you could stay on your parent’s plan if you were a full time student up until age 23. There is no reason it should take more than 5 years for an undergraduate degree.

        • OnePumpChump says:

          There are plenty of reasons. Money, illness, family emergencies, work, all can either force someone to stop school for a semester or two, or necessitate a lighter class load.

        • Michaela says:

          “The U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) tracked the progress of first-time students seeking a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent and attending a four-year institution full-time in the 2000-01 school year. It found that only 36 percent of these students graduated from college within four years. And only 57.5 percent of undergraduates who began that year had attained a degree or certificate six years later, in 2007.” -Collegeboard

          Also, students who enter the co-op program at my university are expected to take at least five years to graduate (since they spend time enrolled, but also semesters out in the work force).

          • OnePumpChump says:

            Don’t forget study abroad.

            I only ever knew one person at my school who graduated in four years. Two others who did it in 4 1/2.

            • Michaela says:

              I am set to take only 3 (2.5 if I take classes this summer). Most people I know though are already a year behind (from changing majors).

            • chocolate1234 says:

              I spent a year abroad and still got out in four, so it’s definitely do-able, although admittedly, it also depends on the major. I know some, like education, automatically took longer.

        • 44Wadeable says:

          Hate to say it, but an undergrad degree no longer does the job it did when my parents were 26. My dad had a professorial job at about 26 with an undergraduate. Now you need AT least a Masters for that, if not more. Heck, you can’t even teach at the grade school level for more than a few years without a Masters in many states.

          The Masters is the new Bachelors. Hence, people are in school for longer. Hence, health insurance is cool.

        • Rectilinear Propagation says:

          As OnePumpChump said, there are loads of reasons it can take longer than 4 years. First of all, you’re assuming everyone can go to school full time. This is not true. You’re also assuming that everyone can get an A in every class they take the first time. Either that or you’re ignoring the fact that many majors have minimum grade requirements for getting in and for core coursework. Not to mention that some majors and schools within colleges have limited space. It may take extra time just to get into the major you want.

          And all that is assuming you’re able to start college at 18, never change your major, and don’t do a double or triple major.

          Also, what 44Wadeable said.

        • GinaLouise says:

          Even if you finished school in four years, many of us don’t instantly get hired at full-time jobs with fantastic benefits. It took me about a year and half to find my first good job, and being uninsured during that time was extremely stressful for me (I have a heavy-duty pre-existing condition).

        • 451.6 says:

          You know what they say about assuming…

          I graduated from college at 23, thanks to an illness I spent two years battling. Fortunately, my parents insurance covered me up to age 23 otherwise I’d be seriously in debt. And when I had a recurrence in grad school (for a degree that I need to get any kind of job my chosen field), the crappy school insurance only covered 80% of my medical costs and left me with the rest of it. This law would have been useful for me. If nothing else, it would have ensured that I got adequate follow-up care during my gap year between college and grad school.

      • Robert Nagel says:

        Will it make it cheaper to everyone if the only ones who sign up are those with serious, expensive, problems?

    • goodfellow_puck says:

      I’m gonna say that “children/kids” in this is a direct reference to their relation to the person with the insurance, not their age.

      But you can rage over something petty if you like. Touched a nerve? ;) Pretty sure republicans think of 20somethings as “kids” too. At least, every repub I know does. Even into 30s, haha.

      • jesirose says:

        Are you republican? Because I don’t know a single one who agrees with the idea that a 25 year old should be mooching off their parents. Every republican I know believes in personal responsibility. I know there’s times when it’s appropriate to get help, but I don’t know a single republican who refers to a 25 year old as a child. Especially when that “child” has children of their own.

        • ARP says:

          What about George Bush? He made it on his own with no help from anyone? What was he doing in his early 20’s again?

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          My card-carrying, southern twang, guns rights, Republican as you can get in-laws insisted they keep paying our car insurance because we were in our first jobs out of college and were desperately trying to start a savings fund. We were 24. Being Republican and believing in personal responsibility does not negate your own personal responsibility to your children. Helping them with health insurance is not babying or pandering – it’s doing something to help your own flesh and blood, who otherwise might not have basic health care.

        • goodfellow_puck says:

          L.O.L. Try all of my family on BOTH sides. I get condesended towards more often by the extreme Repubs for being a “child” than I do the moderates. My point is, it doesn’t matter if you’re Repub or Dem or TP or Lib. Being older tends to make you thing of, and treat, younger people as children, no matter the actual age.

    • Hoss says:

      You left out the children shooting missiles and dodging landmines

      • jesirose says:

        Oh wow, I’m ashamed of myself. I can’t believe I didn’t add that! Thanks!

      • White Scorpion says:

        They have insurance through the military so don’t qualify for coverage on the parent’s policy.

      • RandomHookup says:

        and catching bullets.

      • Gulliver says:

        You mean the ones who have SINGLE PAYER GOVERNMENT PAID HEALTH CARE? How interesting that the highest rated health care system in the US is the VA, also happens to be “socialized” according to the right wing nut jobs. So I guess the military is an experiment in socialism. In fact, it is a pretty totalitarian institution and wants all to look, sound and act alike. Saddam would be so proud.

    • exconsumer says:

      Yes, you can be 26 and still a child, or 57 and still a child . . if and when you’re described in terms of your relationship with your parent. If you think about how else to put it concisely, you’ll find its difficult to do with one word: son alone or daughter alone wouldn’t cover both sexes. I suppose you could say offspring, but that sounds a little unnatural. Nuance of the English language isn’t always easy.

      • jesirose says:

        “kids can now stay on their parent’s health care policies until age 26” – “Coverage for these children” They could easily say “people”, “anyone” or even “adults”! From 18+ you’re an adult. The fact that it referneces “parent’s coverage” you know it’s about someone who is someone else’s child. I realize you can be a child at any age because you have a parent. But this is about treating them like children as in kids. Babies. People who can’t or won’t support themselves. Which is the part I was speaking about.

        • Rectilinear Propagation says:

          Except helping your child get through college by keeping them on your insurance does not equal babying them. That’s like saying taking care of your parents when they’re too infirm to do it themselves is babying them.

        • tsukiotoshi says:

          I’m on my mom’s insurance and this bill saved me. Her employer just switched to keep offspring on until 26, even before the mandatory start time in January. I’m 25, just graduated law school, just today got my bar results (thankfully passing) and am clerking for free to gain experience while I try to find a paying job. So I’m a big fan of this bill, even if I guess it makes me a child.

          • rockasocky says:

            Dear tsukiotoshi: You and I sound like the exact same person. Except I didn’t get my bar results yet :-/

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          You seem out of touch. Being an adult doesn’t mean your parents stop being parents; good parents would continue to help their child with practical matters in circumstances the child may not be able to control. I don’t think anyone wants to be without health insurance. If you’re 25 and you lose your job, the fact that your parents can keep you on their plan means that you’ve got a little less stress in your life.

    • OnePumpChump says:

      You are a child.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      Forget getting a job, stay in school forever and be a child as long as possible!

      Ah yes, those terrible, lazy people who stay in school to get Masters and Doctorates so that they can excel in professional careers, teach, and/or become medical doctors. How DARE they!

      You must be Stretch Armstrong to be able to reach that conclusion.

      • omg says:

        Actually, when I read that comment I immediately thought of all the “disaffected youth” around town who sleep under bridges (literally!) and infest public spaces all day panhandling for “spare change” with their backpacks and dogs. (Hmmm, if they didn’t have dogs, maybe they wouldn’t need as much spare change to live on?)

        Why they are disaffected, I do not know, and I wonder if they have ever considered becoming productive members of society

        • Syncop8d1 says:

          You wouldn’t happen to be referring to Austin, huh? I don’t really “get” why they have those dogs. One of them chased my tires as I drove by. Silly dog.

    • danmac says:

      I’m sorry, but the tone of your posts makes you sound like an embittered, small person who is primarily angry because she is not a direct beneficiary of this particular policy.

    • krom says:

      You’re right. that *one specific piece* of the reforms doesn’t help those people. But *other pieces do*.

    • Conformist138 says:

      Well, let’s see… my mom refers to her “kids” or her “children” and both my brother (21) and I (25) are out of the house and nearly fully independent (mom pays the cell phone bill- the family plan is cheap enough that she wouldn’t gain much by kicking us off). So, the word is meaningless.

      If your problem is just with the idea of a 26 year old being able to merge their health care costs with that of their parents in a way that makes it affordable for the whole family… well… that sucks. I’m sorry you feel that way. Personally, a lot of people under 26 are still just starting out and often don’t have jobs that offer affordable insurance. It’s not like no one is paying- there are still rate increases for dependants, deductibles and co-pays.

      Oh, and how about this: For Federal aid, no matter how independant a person may be, anyone under the age of 24 must include their parent’s income. If parents make more money, even the most independent 22 year old cannot get financial aid from the government (this is why I quit school and am only looking at it again now- before, they said mom had to pay for it all. She couldn’t or didn’t want to, so that’s a bummer for me). So, we already have a system that keeps “kids” linked to their parents well after the age of 18. If you want to change that, then the government will start handing out more school aid. But, I bet you’d have a problem with that, too, with gov’mnt spendin and all.

    • c_c says:

      Tell that to all the 18-26 year olds who are desperately trying to find any employment, let alone a job that pays for health insurance… if their parent’s/parent’s employers are willing to pay the extra premium to keep them on their plan, I don’t see what the big deal is. And from the insurance co’s perspective, I think it’s actually net positive as in general 18-26 year olds are healthy and have low health care costs…

      • cecilsaxon says:

        Last time I checked the Army was hiring. Whiny “children” at age 26… get real folks. No wonder we are in the crapper. 1/3 of your life over and you have yet to make anything of yourself.

  3. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Ben, you oversimplified the coverage for Age 26-ers. (unless I understand this incorrectly) For most company-based insurance the effective date would indeed be 1/1/2011. But for new coverage plans (i.e. finding your own insurance independently) it would go into effective immediate if you obtained insurance after Sept. 23rd.

    Show me a link that proves me wrong, but I’m pretty sure that’s the deal. Otherwise, why say it’s effective 9/23/10 when it’s really not.

    • heart.shaped.rock says:

      It’s based on the plan year, not when someone signs up because until you change the plan, the rules are the same. If I get a new employee, we don’t have to add his 24-year-old until April because our current plan only covers to 23. Many of the major companies begain offering this coverage as soon as the bill passed to save the time and trouble of cancelling a 19-year-old on 8/1/10 and re-adding on 1/1/10. Our plan year begins on 4/1/11 so we don’t have to comply until then, but anyone who has lost coverage due to age will be eligible to come back on at that time.

  4. coffee412 says:

    The first effects of Healthcare Reform: Employers no longer offering healthcare benefits. Now for the existing HC covered employees watch how the rate on your premium skyrockets! Good Luck to us all. The quality is going to drop too! We are in alot of trouble because nothing is free. Everything has a cost (Unless you run linux ).

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Yes, let’s blame the government for actions of private businesses.

      We should also blame the government for all those insurance companies denying claims and terminating coverage for cancer victims while they remained largely unregulated.

      • j_rose says:

        When the businesses are saying their actions are a direct result of the government’s actions, I think it’s a safe claim to blame the government for those actions. They’re logical actions, even.

        • FrugalFreak says:

          If those businesses would provide good job security, solid salary and not reduced benefits and quality care then it wouldn’t have deteriorated like it has. Businesses decided the wanted thier cake and eat it too while leaving the employees with the crumbs and them to clean it up.

          Business trimming is responsible.

          • jwinston2 says:

            I see it as the government wanting their cake and eating it too. If the federal government did not want more tax money, higher regulations, less competition, lower profits, then many more businesses could provide everything you stated.

            What happens when a business doesn’t make profit?

            • cluberti says:

              They lobby the government for protections under the law so that they can stay afloat (see: banks, airlines, auto manufacturers).

        • krom says:

          Right, businesses never lie for profit’s sake!

    • Donathius says:

      I have a family member that works for AT&T – and they came out and told the employees that it would SAVE the company over a billion dollars a year if they dropped employee health care coverage, gave everyone a 10% raise and paid the fine for not providing health insurance for their employees.

      Yeah. It doesn’t help anyone if it’s cheaper to pay the fine than it is to provide the insurance. I work for a state university and we have a self-funded plan. Our coverage isn’t going anywhere since the higher-ups want to keep their insurance just as much as the peons.

      • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

        Sounds like that 10% would over many people’s plans, since most people in the US won’t be paying more than 10% of their income for health insurance. So, either way, they will be able to afford coverage. They may have to go to the state pool, but they still will be able to get the coverage they need.

        • omg says:

          Burger flippers won’t see a 10% raise and won’t be able to afford insurance. Their employers will grudgingly eat the fine, after which, raises will be out of the question.

    • OnePumpChump says:

      Because that was not happening before.

    • Brink006 says:

      Typical aspie computer engineer libertarian. nothing more to see here.

    • Conformist138 says:

      Good. we need to prove that the current system is not sustainable or affordable for a majority of people. The more we try to get as many people as possible covered with a private system, the more the cracks show. I hope to see a national system in the US in my lifetime when we finally figure out that removing profit from health care will save a ton of $$$.

      • JayPhat says:

        You mean like that pesky medicare? Hows that working out? A national system does nothing but kill off quality. Don’t take my word for it, look at Britain.

        • LucasM says:


          Ask anyone on Medicare if they’re willing to give it up… or even trade it for a “private” insurance option. Medicare administrative costs are only about 5 to 6% of total expenditures compared to up to 30% for some private companies (including their profit margin, which isn’t applicable to Medicare). This clearly leaves more money for the actual care… so no, I won’t be taking your word for it, thanks.

    • zibby says:

      You’re wrong, son – everything is free if you don’t kick in to begin with.

    • richcreamerybutter says:

      Health care should not be associated with employment, period (or necessitate the use of private insurance companies). My friends with small businesses would love to be able to hire the best talent, but often they end up with those who are lucky enough to have existing coverage through another means.

      I still cannot figure out why certain people have an issue with allowing me to have access to a default government plan. Private insurers should exist only for extra optional coverage.

  5. vaguelyobscene says:

    I can’t take advantage of this because my parents’ insurance is exempt from this. So my broken wrist that I am healing myself will just have to chill and be all malformed because I can’t afford health insurance while I go to school. AWESOME.

    • Bunnies Attack! says:

      Don’t most colleges have a health insurance plan anyway that you have to sign up for? The cost is probably a little higher than typical employer plans but if your parents have a 2-person plan and switch to a family plan the upcharge will probably be similar. Maybe they can cover your college insurance premium.

      • goodfellow_puck says:

        Eh, if you call the “health fee” for the free/reduced clinic “health insurance.” They would probably just refer a broken bone, not treat it.

  6. zigziggityzoo says:

    Unless your benefits are part of a union-negotiated contract. They don’t have to comply with this law for the extent of the current contract, then have 90 days to comply from the time the next contract goes into effect.

    • Crass says:

      According to ex-Gov. Palin that is also around the time the death panels will take into effect, I smell a conspiracy!

      In all seriousness: This doesnt surprise me at all, its like how insurance companies are no longer going offer child policies altogether so they can get around the whole “Cant deny children with pre-existings” spiel.

      • Maximus Pectoralis says:

        The union exception is not a conspiracy theory, it is in the bill. How else would they buy a huge block of votes than to make sure public employee unions with their $2000/mo luxury insurance plans with no out of pocket costs get an unfair advantage?

  7. Jesse says:

    Because health insurance exists to pay for every and any health cost associated with the policyholder, not actually insure against future health events. The taxpayers do not know what kind of mess they are walking into.

  8. goodfellow_puck says:

    I was on my parent’s health insurance until 25 or 26. Their insurance had a provision for adult children who were still in school.

    • anewmachine615 says:

      This is another aspect borrowed from the MA law on which the federal reform is largely based, though it was, IIRC, passed separately. The MA law rose out of an issue with a girl who got so sick that she dropped below full-time status. Though her parents bankrupted themselves, they couldn’t pay for her medical bills, and she eventually died. Can’t find any stories on it, but it was a big deal. The legislature passed the same bill in NH.

  9. Consumeristing says:

    “Another aspect that kicked in on Sep 23 was that health care companies can’t deny insurance to children with preexisting conditions. Major players in the health care industry responded to this one by instead of denying insurance, it would opt to stop selling child-only health insurance policies entirely. It remains to be seen what other inventive ideas the health care industry will come up with as it adjusts to the new regulations.”

    Are you intentionally clueless? What did you really expect when INSURANCE companies are forced to cover people regardless of risk besides raise the premiums to distribute the cost or drop future coverage altogether?

  10. Consumeristing says:

    I don’t know how many of these 26-yr old “kids” are being forced out of college health plans due to this health care law.

    “Colleges and universities say some rules in the new health law could keep them from offering low-cost, limited benefit student insurance policies – and they’re seeking federal authority to continue offering them.

    Requiring them to meet even some of the new rules could drive up premiums, colleges say. Premiums could increase, for example, if regulators determine that student health plans are considered “individual” policies, rather than group plans that often get a better rate, says Steven Bloom, assistant director of federal relations at the American Council on Education.

    Additionally, the colleges fear they would be required to offer the plans to anyone who applies for one, even if they are not a student, Bloom says.”

    • jesirose says:

      be careful, if you mention that they’re 26 year old “kids”, apparently your entire point is invalid because that’s not the point… :-P

    • sonneillon says:

      The college health plan when I was going for my undergrad was vastly inferior to every employer offered health plan I have ever seen. My pops went through 4 different plans, my mom through 3 and with my employment I went through 2, all while I was in college and they were all vastly superior to the one offered by any of my colleges (3 in total). Even if the employer didn’t cover any of it the plan would have been cheaper.

    • chocolate1234 says:

      Well, it’s not just college students who can benefit from this. Think of all the recent graduates who are having an impossible time finding jobs. This is coming at a great time for them.

  11. dreamfish says:

    All these comments and no-one has screamed ‘communism!’

  12. momtimestwo says:

    We just got our Open Enrollment package today from my husbands employer. We have BCBS though his work. Our monthly premiums did not go up in fact they went down slightly because of instead of everyone paying the same price, your premium is now based on your income. So for comparison to your plan, our family BCBS plan is $320 a month.

    However our per office visit cost went up from $30 to $35. And they narrowed the list of in-network doctors. Our dental plan went up $4, Vision went up $4 and prescription is complicated, but it looks to be about the same cost for drugs.

    And children up to age 26 can be added to the plan.

  13. Yo Howdy says:

    Between the years of age 26, when kids can no longer be insured on their parents’ policies until age 40, when some police officers are receiving those full pensions in New York State, those adult years before retirement sure are getting short.

  14. Rocket80 says:

    Why stop at 26? Why not 28? 30? 50? How did they come to determine 26 is the perfect age? lol what a joke. Just another piece of bait to hook some extra voters on.

    • OnePumpChump says:

      Why is 18 the age to vote, 16 the age to drive, 21 the age to drink, 65 the age to retire, 35 the age to be president, and so on?

      It’s arbitrary. All of them are to some degree arbitrary.

    • ooeygooey says:

      It’s been a while since I was 23 and in college, but I always understood the problem to be *continuity* of coverage. So, I’m on my parent’s plan until I graduate, but if I don’t get a job that provides me with heath insurance right away, then my coverage lapses. From that point on, I am susceptible to the dreaded *pre-existing condition* bullshit that congress did a good job of detailing before this bill passed. So, being able to stay on my parent’s insurance until I’m 26 may allow me time to get that job that would give me my own coverage without lapsing.

      I don’t think the problem is with the law that passed, I think the problem is with the insurance industry. I would have liked to see nationalized health care. I would have liked to see Republicans being rounded up and shipped off somewhere so the rest of us could live reasonable lives. Oh, well.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      OK, so what age wouldn’t have been a joke? Are you against the idea of children ever being covered by their parents?

    • CookiePuss says:

      I don’t know if its the reason but perhaps 4 years of college and 2-4 years of law/med school. Giving someone 8 years to get all their schooling done and perhaps get their foot in the door somewhere would put them at just about 26. I wouldn’t say their considered “kids” but many are still dependent on their parents for financial assistance.

      I know alot of people hovering around 30 who live at home. Some went to college and some didn’t.

    • minjche says:

      Age 26 works out for those bound for quaternary school.

      Graduate high school at 18ish, four years of undergrad brings you to 22, up to four years of graduate school brings you to 26.

      That’s how it would work for me if I didn’t already have a job lined up after I graduate.

    • c_c says:

      I take the provision being designed for the purpose of:
      – “Children” who go on to more school after undergrad
      – “Children” recently out of school who may be unemployed, or have jobs/internships that don’t provide healthcare… therefore they are able to have continuity of care so they don’t lapse (buying on the individual market is often prohibitively expensive for those “kids”.
      – Reduces the # of young adults w/o coverage, which puts a burden on the system…

      • c_c says:

        Continuing this thought… I think they crunched the numbers and determined that 26 was a pretty good cutoff for these criteria.

    • TuxthePenguin says:

      That and it was likely also a calculation to game the CBO score just a bit more…

  15. do-it-myself says:

    Why does Tricare get out of Jail Free card with this?

    • alisha.hime says:

      Exactly, its not right. Veterns were afraid that if Tricares name was on the bill that their benefits would be affected.

      • do-it-myself says:

        At least they HAVE benefits. We have to protect the young as well as the mature. Unless they can figure out to push life expectancy to 130 years, it’s a poor argument.

        • TehLlama says:

          Have benefits? Tricare mostly sucks, and truth be told, an E1 (Private Enlisted) makes less than somebody collecting unemployment, and that difference is enough to buy insurance as well.

          Although the enlisted person gets wonderful travel options to fun faraway places where idiots try to help you cash in on the included life insurance policy.

  16. alisha.hime says:

    A very notable exclusion to the bill was Tricare. If the family has Tricare health insurance (military families) the child is cut off at 23..even if they are still in school. And the new law does not apply to Tricare. ^_^

  17. TWSS says:

    Thank freakin GAWD. One step closer to single-payer, and an environment where healthcare WON’T be tied to salaried employment and more Americans can start their own small businesses instead of being shackled to their jobs.

    I don’t have kids or a dependent spouse so I could quit my job to work full-time on a startup. My partners, on the other hand, have spouses and kids who rely on the (increasingly expensive) benefits provided through their employer, so they get to put in 8-10 hours a day at the job they have to stay at, then spend nights and weekends trying to launch a business (instead of spending time with their kids or, you know, sleeping). If private health insurance for a family of four weren’t so exorbitantly expensive, we’d be a lot further along by now. You know, building a company and employing people…


  18. H3ion says:

    Another aspect that kicked in on Sep 23 was that health care companies can’t deny insurance to children with preexisting conditions. Major players in the health care industry responded to this one by instead of denying insurance, it would opt to stop selling child-only health insurance policies entirely. It remains to be seen what other inventive ideas the health care industry will come up with as it adjusts to the new regulations.

    As insurers are subject to state licensure, what would stop a state from telling an insurer that they either wrote coverage for children with pre-existing conditions (individual policy) or not bother selling any insurance in the state?

  19. TheGreySpectre says:

    No thanks, I’m 23 like my coverage. In fact my parents wish they were on my coverage, my coverage is freaking awesome.

  20. EBone says:

    Here’s a really BIG change: Your employer used to take your medical insurance coverage fees out of your paycheck, then tax the remaining amount. Now, you will be taxed on the whole amount of your paycheck, before the medical insurance fees are removed.

    For someone like me, who is paying about $1,000 a month for health coverage for my wife and son, that coverage is now going to cost me the $1,000 PLUS about $400 in taxes on the $1,000.

  21. tsdguy says:

    My university added the adult child provision a while ago which was nice. This is a big deal for many families. Since we pay for a family rate, adding a kid doesn’t change the total.

    A big FU to any of the posters that don’t think young adults starting out shouldn’t be able to get insurance.

    Of course, they jack up the family rate 20%, added a 10% coinsurance (love that term) and a $500 deductible so lets not think by any means that more regulation is not needed.

  22. danmac says:

    I’m sorry, but the tone of your posts makes you sound like an embittered, small person who is primarily angry because she is not a direct beneficiary of this particular policy.

  23. ldub says:

    Excellent! We still have problems, the insurance companies will continue to try to make obscene profits while Americans go without basic health care – but it’s a start. Almost all the civilized nations that actually provide comprehensive health care coverage to their citizens went through this same kind of process. We have to keep moving forward.

    The BEST and most important thing that has come out of Health Care Reform is the concept that ALL Americans deserve health care. We’ll build from here. :)

  24. krom says:

    People need to be aware that the change is not instantaneous. What it means is that from now on, the next time your plan comes up for renewal (you know, that time every year when your HR dept drags everyone into large meetings with a couple of well-dressed young insurance reps, and you have to fill out a shitload of forms all over again?), these changes will be in those plans.

    Your current plan is the same until that time.

  25. u1itn0w2day says:

    Just consider it another group policy. What the heck it 100 strangers can go on the same policy at their place of employment why can’t a half dozen family members stay on the same policy. Doesn’t matter wether it’s 26 or 260 it comes down to being a psuedo group policy.

    I think the word mandated coverage tweeks the for mega profit sense of entitlement health insurance companies.

  26. ElleAnn says:

    This would have made a big difference for me. I was only insured for about 10 months between when I graduated from college and when I turned 26. I’m in a field where you pretty much need to pay your dues in short term positions before you have enough experience to get a permanent job with benefits. I was lucky that I never got seriously injured or became ill, but I definitely delayed routine healthcare because I was uninsured.

  27. JF says:

    So, do parents have to LET their children stay on until age 26?

  28. Jeanyuhs says:

    YAY! Oh wait, I mean oh shit…I have to start paying for healthcare now thanks to Obama! My company used to pay for all employees, however, now we are considered to have “Cadillac” plans and our company can no longer afford to pay for everyone’s care due to increased premiums and tax penalties. My company used this benefit as a way to get talented individuals to work for them since they are small and cannot offer some of the things larger companies can.

    Oh yeah, another shout out to the Obama administration and their newly appointed NASA administration for canceling the Constellation program that I and thousands of others worked on!

    But hey, now some TWENTY-SIX YEAR OLD can stay on mommy and daddy’s plan. Jesus Christ, at age twenty six it’s about time to grow up. Oh what’s that? You went to college and got a business degree, but have no truly marketable skills to offer a company? Tough shit, pay for your own damn health-care you leach.

  29. ChuckECheese says:

    You forgot the fourth reform – the poultry for poultices program, also known as “chickens for chest x-rays.” You will be able to pay for your medical care in chickens and other livestock. Your leprosy can be cured for 2 doves (and a lamb and flour and some oil). This program is being rolled out in 2012 in preparation for the 2014 changes, which will allow you to pay for your amputations with plastic grocery bags.

  30. momtimestwo says:

    The incomes are 49k and under; 50-99k, 100-149k, 150-199k, and 200+.

    So the 49k and under for our plan pays $295 a month, and at the top end the the 200k people pay $370 a month. But damn… If you make 200k a year, $370 a month is chump change isn’t it?

    • CapnZero_rm says:

      So… because someone makes more money than another, they should pay more for the same product? How far do we extend this? Do I need a copy of my 1040A to buy clothes? Groceries? Not a very pro-consumerist attitude.

    • cluberti says:

      Yes, ignore the fact that people (going with single here, it’s lower on the low end for married) in higher tax brackets may pay close to (or more than) 36% of their base salary in taxes, while someone making $49K pays 28% (that’s $72,000 in taxes if you make $200K a year, and ~$13K if you make $49K).

      In the interest of fairness here, complaining that one group doesn’t pay inordinate amounts for healthcare compared to “average” folks simply because they make more money is just whining by those who don’t make as much. I’ve been poor, and I now make very good money, and it’s amazing how many people spew hate simply because you have money. I would bet those same folks would likely be against communism or socialism, yet they want to take money from the rich and give it to everyone else, which is……….??? It’s certainly not the capitalist system they would espouse, is it.

  31. stanner says:

    I suppose it’s a start, but I sure wonder why every other industrial country can provide far cheaper health care than us. And by any metric I’ve seen, a much better return on investment (Dr’s per capita, life expectancy, waiting times, etc). I mean, the opponents of decent health care reform seem to think we can’t even compete with France. I don’t think that says much about our faith in America frankly.

  32. edrebber says:

    The 18-26 year olds are really healthy and won’t have many claims anyway. Many of these people wouldn’t pay for health insurance at all if they couldn’t get on with their parent’s policy. This will be a windfall for the insurance companies with the additional premiums and low claim rate.

    • do-it-myself says:

      This is why emergency costs are through the roof and tax dollars are being wasted on people who think like this.

  33. Extractor says:

    Another wonderful aspect of obamacare. All providers must prepare and send 1099’s to any vendor that got over $600 from us. Such as restaurants, gas stations, utility companies,etc.

  34. Microxot says:

    Let see, instead of forcing hospitals and drug companies to bring their prices down to a reasonable level, Obama insteads forces everyone to have insurance and now everyone is paying more. What a great President we have.

  35. John Gage says:

    Couple other tidbits about this law:

    1. The law also says that the married dependents are included. An employee can cover their married dependent but not that dependent’s spouse or child(ren)

    2. In both Florida and New York, unmarried dependents can stay on their parents plan until they are 30. In New Jersey, they can stay on until they are 31.

  36. zibby says:

    “Incidentally, Consumer’s Union is sponsoring a video contest where you can win $1,000 if you make a really great 3-minute video that shows why the option to stay on your parents’ coverage is awesome.”

    Seriously? Why?

  37. LuckyLady says:

    This “children can be covered until 26” meme is misleading.

    1. Not all employer plans are subject to this right away. They are subject after their next renewal. So for plans that don’t renew for some time, this provision doesn’t go into effect yet. This is especially true if it’s a self-funded plan because then there is no carrier telling the employer what to do ahead of the time it has to be implemented.

    2. Some states already have provisions that actually go above and beyond the age 26 rule. Ohio, for example, lets biological, adopted and stepchildren stay on the plan up to age 28 if certain criteria are met. That’s a state law. Florida goes up to age 30, again if certain criteria are met, and that’s also a state law.

    3. Most employer plans are not going to permit children of their employees who have benefits available through the child’s employer to enroll in the parent’s plan. The point of this legislation, as far as I can tell, is to force everyone to have insurance in some form or fashion. This is one way employers can “fight back” against the extra costs associated with extra dependents on the plan, by making, essentially, a carve-out for children who are employed with benefits available. So Junior, who is working at big box retailer with benefits available, as poor as they may be, may have to take those benefits rather than be allowed back on his parent’s plan. Employers are going to get really strict about enforcing carve-out rules, which previously had only been applied primarily to spouses, because of the burden this extended age coverage will place on them.

    • John Gage says:

      I respectfully disagree with point #3. There is no mention in the law about no allowing dependents on who have other coverage. An employer would not be able to carve out those dependents who are eligible elsewhere.

      That said, is a dependent going to go on their parent’s plan if the have other coverage? Not likely, but they can.

      • LuckyLady says:

        A plan can elect to do #3 (deny enrolling a dependent child if other employer coverage is available) if the plan is considered grandfathered. Not all plans have that status. It is happening–I see evidence of it every day.

    • qwill says:

      I respectfully agree with point number 3. This has already happened. The school district’s here will no longer cover dependents who have the option of purchasing their own insurance through their place of employment. And since the law will mandate that all employers offer insurance or pay a fine and shift employees to the government plan (which is the real goal of this legislation anyway) this will apply to any spouse or child who is employed. So the only 23 year olds who will be covered will be the unemployed.

  38. gybryant says:

    I’m still waiting to see how all this pans out, but I would very much appreciate someone explaining to me how requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions is a good idea. isn’t the entire concept of insurance based on the notion that you *might* make a claim? How is covering people that *definitely will* make a claim economically sustainable? I’m sure very smart people have thought of this and have an answer, but i can’t imagine what that could be.

    • PunditGuy says:

      Asthma is a pre-existing condition, and an excuse for insurance companies to not cover a child. Having asthma is not an indicator one way or another whether the kid will break his or her arm at some point, costing the parents $13K out of pocket because they couldn’t ensure an asthmatic.

      The occasional inhaler is not going to eat up the profit the insurance company could make off the premiums. And the reason why you have all kids covered, whether they’ve got pre-existing conditions or not, is so that you can spread their risk and costs around to as large a pool as possible.

      Do I have to pay a couple of extra bucks a year to cover all the asthmatic kids at my company? Probably. But since I was going to pay more anyway (my rates have doubled in the last 5 years, and that was before health care reform was passed), I’d rather pay more and have the kid protected in case of a broken arm.

  39. JayPhat says:

    If your precious snowflake needs to still be on your health insurance at age 26, guess what? They have bigger issues to deal with. Say cutting that cord a bit.

  40. smartmuffin says:

    Apparently Communists (both in Washington and among the general populace) *actually* believed that they could mandate the insurance companies start doing a lot of things to increase their costs, and this somehow WOULDN’T result in higher premiums or lower quality/availability of service.


  41. Smultronstallet says:

    As a 20 year old college student who plans on pursuing a doctorate after undergrad, I couldn’t be more pleased with this law! My father has awesome health insurance and my part-time employer provides a complete joke of a plan. Awesome!

    • qwill says:

      My son’s girlfriend had an almost identical situation and guess what? She has to accept her employers plan (it’s the law) and can no longer be covered under her parent’s plan. So that’s your reward for working.

  42. qwill says:

    Once again lets reward people for not working. So a 25 year old who doesn’t work would be covered by their parent’s insurance but a 19 year old college student working part time who is offered insurance by her employer has to accept that insurance and won’t be covered under her paren’ts plan. Sounds like typical government handiwork to me.