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WellPoint and UnitedHealth Take Action to Keep Current Student Enrollees on Parents Plans

Monday, April 19, 2010
Contact: Arianne Lynch (Young Invincibles): 401-225-5020

Young Invincibles Encouraged by WellPoint, UnitedHealth Actions to Keep Current Student Enrollees on Parents Plans

Washington, DC Young Invincibles supports the decision of both UnitedHealth and WellPoint to act in the spirit of reform and ensure that many 2010 graduates do not face gaps in insurance coverage this summer. Though the new law extends dependent coverage until age 26, the provision will not take effect until September. By keeping students who are currently enrolled on their parents plans covered post-graduation, these carriers are helping to speed the effect of health care reform for millions of Americans.

This initiative marks a significant step toward ensuring that students graduating this summer will not lose vital insurance coverage, said Aaron Smith, co-founder of Young Invincibles.

While UnitedHealth and WellPoints decision allows students enrolled on their parents plans to keep coverage after graduation, the announcement does not seem to apply to individuals enrolled in student health plans who may want to switch back onto their parents plan post-graduation.

We hope that other insurance companies will work with HHS to take similar measures, Smith said. We also hope that all carriers will work to enroll students on their parents plans who may currently have student health insurance, so that no one experiences a drop in coverage.

Young Invincibles also encourages HHS to implement rules creating a special enrollment period once the extension goes into effect, allowing all young adults up to age 26 to immediately enroll on their parents plan in September rather than having to wait for the next open enrollment period.

The extension of dependent coverage to the age of 26 is one of several provisions that positively impacts young Americans. This provision alone will provide coverage to more than 2 million uninsured young adults. Once all of the reform provisions are put in place roughly 15 million more young adults will have access to quality, affordable insurance.