Young adults might have to wait for health care coverage

In the midst of college graduation season, health insurance experts warned Monday that many employers will not be prepared to offer coverage to dependents up to age 26 before 2011, despite insurance companies' early commitment to provide that coverage this year.

"For young adults who are graduating this spring, it's really important to go to your employers and see if they are starting this right off the bat, and when their enrollment year begins," said Sara Collins, an economist at the Commonwealth Fund.

While insurance companies are required by the health overhaul law to offer coverage for dependents as old as 26 on their parents' plans after Sept. 23, Collins said the availability of coverage would depend on when an employer's enrollment period begins.

"It will likely be later than that," said Collins, referring to the September deadline.

Roland McDevitt, healthcare research director at consulting firm Towers Watson, agreed that the reality of coverage for dependents this year is unlikely.

"The detail that most people don't understand is all the administrative enrollment stuff that's behind a large employer's health plan is actually typically done by the employer, not the health plan," said McDevitt, who explained that employers are responsible for determining how to enact many provisions of the requirement, including whether to offer dental and vision coverage, which is not mandated under the healthcare law.

McDevitt said few of his clients were likely to start offering coverage to dependents under 26 before their 2011 plan year begins. He warned that many small- and medium-size businesses may not be ready to handle the administrative requirements of implementing the law.

"I suspect that group is not as well prepared to sort of plan for all these administrative issues," said McDevitt.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.