Thursday, June 3, 2010

Expect Questions on Medical Coverage for New Graduates

One of the popular provisions of the health care reform plan allows young adults to stay on their parents' health plans until age 26. Currently, many young adults are removed from their parents' plan when they complete school. This has posed a problem for many new graduates who were unable to find employment immediately after school, or who were offered jobs or internships without coverage.

Although many are excited about this new provision, there are some who may be ineligible due to a coverage gap. An article in the New York Times states that the law goes into effect on September 26 of this year, but employers are not legally required to comply until January 2011. As a result, this year's graduates hoping to rely on their parent's coverage may have to wait if their parents' employers do not revise their plans immediately.

Patient Access staff may see an increase in questions from parents and patients regarding whether or not adult children are eligible under their parents' plan. This will include answering questions about whether or not the child is eligible for coverage under a parents' plan if he or she is employed, and if and when children would be eligible to rejoin their parents' plan if they were employed but lost their job.

Financial counselors and other access staff will need to work with patients and their families to determine eligibility in coverage, and if gaps in coverage do occur, what can be done to cover those gaps.

Source: New York Times

Brenda Sauer, CHAM is the Chair of the NAHAM Government Relations Committee.

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