Policy

Ohio insurers launch campaign to cover ‘young and invincibles’

Accidents happen… even to young people. That’s the message at an Ohio Department of Insurance and Ohio Association of Health Plans website launched this week to educate parents about new federal and state laws that enable them to keep their kids on the family health plan until age 28.

Accidents happen… even to young people.

That’s the message at an Ohio Department of Insurance and Ohio Association of Health Plans website launched this week to educate parents about new federal and state laws that enable them to keep their kids on the family health plan until age 28.

“The goal of this campaign is to make young adults aware that without health insurance the ensuing bills from a medical emergency could saddle them with economic distress for years down the road,” Ohio Insurance Director Mary Jo Hudson said in a release. “Another important message is that parents can simply add their adult child to their policy through their employer or by contacting their insurer for a fee that can range in price.”

An estimated 55,500 dependents in Ohio now have access to healthcare coverage because of the law change. The benefits starts either when a policy is issued or when it is renewed. Under old law, only dependents up to age 19, or up to age 23 if they were still in school, were eligible to receive coverage under their parents’ policies, the insurance department said.

Keeping kids on parents’ healthcare policies longer could cut down on the state’s uninsured liabilities. It also could get those “young and invicible” children — or more often, their parents — to pay for insurance when they otherwise would have gone without. Having more young, healthy customers who seldom use healthcare services could help insurers pay for other reform measures.

Who pays for the extended insurance? The federal law requires dependent coverage be made available until a child reaches age 26. The state law requires coverage be offered to a child from age 26 until age 28. State law does not require the employer to pay for this added benefit, but federal law does, the insurance department said.