CIGNA said that it will extend health insurance coverage to young adults, up to age 26, to help prevent a potential coverage gap for these individuals that may occur prior to provisions of the new health care reform law taking effect.

According to CIGNA, its new policy, which is effective June 1, 2010, will keep as dependents young adults who would otherwise not be eligible for coverage on their parent’s insurance policies because of their residency, college enrollment and/or financial support.

The company said that recent health care reform legislation has extended dependent coverage age of young adults up to 26. This policy change means the company will work to ensure that young adults will have continued coverage around three months prior to provision taking effect.

In addition, CIGNA’s new policy will automatically apply for its fully-insured business. Employers and other plan sponsors with other funding arrangements, including self-funded plans, are responsible for establishing requirements for their benefit plans. These employers will have an option of also adopting extended coverage.

Tom Richards, senior vice president of US product at CIGNA, said: “CIGNA believes all Americans must have access to quality, affordable health care. By extending health insurance coverage for our current young adult customers up to age 26, we can help ensure continuous access to care.”