Empire BlueCross BlueShield, a health insurer in New York, said that it will take steps to prevent a gap in coverage which could leave many young Americans uninsured.
According to Empire, each year in June, many individuals are no longer eligible as dependents on their parents’ insurance policies because of their age, student status or other factors. Health care reform legislation, signed into law last month, will extend dependent age for coverage to 26 for plan years beginning September 23, 2010. As such, many individuals would face a coverage gap during the months before this provision is implemented.
The company said that, it will allow young men and women to remain on their parents’ policies even before this health care reform provision takes effect. Beginning June 1, 2010, it will retain these young individuals on their parents’ policies in both insured group and individual health plans. Self insured clients and members will have an option of not offering this extended coverage.
Mark Wagar, president and CEO of Empire, said: “Protecting access to health benefits for members is our first priority. We are pleased to lead the way in advancing the intent of health care reform and increasing access to affordable, quality coverage.”