News & Updates
Aetna knows many families are worried about their dependents losing medical coverage when they graduate from high school or college or otherwise age out of coverage. Health care reform will address this issue nationwide later this year, when new regulations will go into effect. However, some plan sponsors may want to make changes earlier, to help these dependents remain insured without a gap in coverage.
In keeping with the spirit of health care reform, Aetna will work with their customers to extend coverage to their medical plans’ current dependents ahead of schedule. This means current dependents under the age of 26 would not have to leave their plans when they would otherwise age out or are no longer full-time students (including those who would have lost eligibility effective May 31, 2010). Note that this would not include reinstatement of dependents who previously aged out of their plan. It also does not affect dental, vision, standalone pharmacy or other benefits.
Regardless of whether a plan makes this change ahead of schedule, health care reform is bringing changes to all plans soon. On the next renewal date on or after September 23, 2010, all medical plans must cover all dependents up to age 26 (and older for insured plans in states that mandate coverage above age 26). This may include dependents who are not currently enrolled in the plan, in accordance with regulations. Aetna will be able to tell you more when the federal government issues regulations telling insurers and employers how this must be administered.
Aetna is pleased to offer their plan members the ability to keep their dependents insured. This is one step toward the goal of health care coverage for all Americans.
If you have questions about how this will affect individual and small group plans, or have a larger customer who is interested in making this change ahead of the health care reform law, please contact your b&p representative as soon as possible.