States Consider Options To Expand Health Coverage for Young Adults
The AP/St. Petersburg Times on Wednesday examined efforts by some states to expand health care coverage for young adults. Young adults in most cases lose coverage under the health plans of their parents when they reach age 19, although full-time college students often receive an exception.
According to Laura Tobler, a health policy analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 12 states -- such as Colorado, New Hampshire and New York -- have enacted laws or considered legislation to expand coverage for young adults under the health plans of their parents.
Some states have begun to allow young adults to remain enrolled in the health plans of their parents for a longer period of time, regardless of whether they are college students. About 30% of young adults ages 18 to 24 lacked health insurance in 2003, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
Opponents of state laws to expand coverage for young adults under the health plans of their parents maintain that such laws would increase health care costs for employers and lead to higher premiums. In addition, they maintain that such laws could prompt employers to drop family health coverage (AP/St. Petersburg Times, 1/4).