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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 5, 2017 02:27 PM
From: Representative Mark Longietti
To: All House members
Subject: Re-Introduction of House Bill 957 - Optional healthcare coverage for children up to age 30
In the near future, I plan to re-introduce legislation aimed at giving parents the option of retaining health insurance coverage for their children.

In 2009, we passed legislation to make health insurance available to adult children, up to age 30, on their parent's health insurance plan, if they meet certain eligibility requirements. This legislation, which was signed into law by Governor Rendell as Act 4 of 2009, imposed no cost on employers as the legislation clearly states that the insurance is provided at "the insured employee’s (parent's) expense." However, Act 4 requires that the policyholder, which is typically the employer, agree to add the adult child to the health insurance plan. Unfortunately, since this law took effect, many employers have refused the request of parents to add their adult children to their health insurance plan. In my view, Act 4, in its present state, has become a nullity and should be amended to give parents, rather than employers the option to add their children to their health insurance.

Therefore, I invite your co-sponsorship of legislation to amend Act 4 of 2009 so that health insurance will be made available to adult children, up to age 30, upon meeting the same eligibility requirements in current law, but at the "option of the policyholder's insured employee" (the parent) and not at the "option of the policyholder" (their employer). The cost of adding an adult child to the health insurance plan will remain the obligation of the employee (parent). If we fail to adopt this change, I believe that there will be no real opportunity to extend such health insurance coverage to adult children, up to age 30, and too many young people who are pursuing advanced degrees or who have initial jobs that do not provide health benefits, will continue to go without health insurance.

Previous Co-Sponsors: Harkins, Acosta, Youngblood, V. Brown, Driscoll, Pashinski, Bishop, Kotik, McNeill, Readshaw, Thomas, D. Costa, Cohen and Kinsey

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Introduced as HB735