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Many young adults will have to wait for health insurance from parents' employers

Posted On Fri, May 21, 2010

Despite a new agreement between the government and insurers to keep young adults on their parents' health insurance plans, many employers won't follow suit.

Insurers, which would have been federally mandated to begin insuring young adults up to age 26 on their parents' plans on September 23, forcing many college graduates to re-enroll after being uninsured for the summer, agreed to extend coverage ahead of schedule. However, a large number of employers won't extend their plans until necessary.

A poll of 800 large employers found that only about 25 percent would extend their health insurance plans prior to when their current ones came up for renewal, which in most cases was January 1, 2011. The largest employers, those with 5,000 employees or more, were the least likely to extend coverage, with only 16 percent saying they would do so.

The reason, according to an NPR report, is that employers tend to determine the extent of their health insurance plans far more often than the insurance companies themselves, and extending the plans to cover more people would cost them more money. Of the 160 million Americans insured through their or a family member's work, about two-thirds are covered under such plans.ADNFCR-2297-ID-19792638-ADNFCR

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