Dependency Coverage FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions: Extension of Dependent Coverage

The healthcare reform legislation signed into law in March 2010 by President Obama would make coverage available to adult children up to age 26 for plan years beginning Sept. 23, 2010.

Recognizing that this timetable could result in many young people losing their coverage prior to this date because of their age, student status, graduation from school or other factors, every Blue Cross and Blue Shield company (including BCBSLA) has agreed to allow covered individuals UP TO age 26 - regardless of student status - to remain on their parents' health insurance policies effective June 1, 2010.

Employers and individuals may find some of their questions about this provision of the new healthcare law answered below.

Questions and Answers

Does my dependent have to be a student to receive this coverage extension?

Will my dependent be allowed to stay on my existing policy once he graduates?

What are the qualifiers for this coverage extension?

What type of plan does this extension apply to?

If my dependent was removed from my policy because he graduated from school, will BCBSLA automatically place him back on the policy?

If my dependent is graduating in May and will lose coverage May 31, 2010, will he qualify to remain on my policy, or will he need to reapply during my group's open enrollment?

What steps must I take to add a new dependent to my group policy?

What steps must I take to add a new dependent to my individual policy?

Will this extension cover my dependent if he is no longer a student and is working for an employer that offers health insurance coverage?

Will this extension cover my dependent who lives out of state?

How will this coverage extension affect my handicapped adult child?

Does my dependent have to be a student to receive this coverage extension?
No, this coverage extension is regardless of student statusBack to top Will my dependent be allowed to stay on my existing policy once he graduates?
Yes, he can remain on the policy up to age 26 regardless of student statusBack to top What are the qualifiers for this coverage extension? 
Age is the only qualifier. It doesn't matter if your dependent is married, single, living in the same household, a student, employed or not, etc.Back to top What type of plan does this extension apply to? 
This extension applies to life, dental and medical plans. It does not apply to Medicare supplement plans (BlueChoice 65/BlueChoice 65 Select) or Medicare Part D (RxBLUE), since these plans are always single contracts only (no dependents).

It also does not apply to:

  • Individual Cancer and Serious Diseases policies
  • Individual Variable Income Protection (VIP) policies
  • ASO (administrative services only) groups
  • School boards and charter schools
  • Special insured groups, which will each need to determine individually how and when to handle this eligibility.
Back to top If my dependent was removed from my policy because he graduated from school, will BCBSLA automatically place him back on the policy?
We are not able to place a dependent back on the parents' policy automatically. If you would like your dependent under age 26 to be added back to your policy, you may do one of the following as of June 1, 2010:

  • For standard fully insured groups, the dependent (under age 26) can be added back to the parents' policy during the group's annual open enrollment period beginning with June 1, 2010, anniversaries. You will need to complete our standard enrollment form for adding a dependent.
  • For individual policies, the dependent (under age 26) may apply to be added, subject to underwriting, on June 1, 2010. Additional dependents whose applications are acceptable can be added to the policy with an effective date of your next billing period.
  • ASO (administrative services only) group members should check with your group leader or Human Resources office. These groups will determine individually how and when to handle this eligibility.
Back to top If my dependent is graduating in May and will lose coverage May 31, 2010, will he qualify to remain on my policy, or will he need to reapply during my group's open enrollment? 
One of the reasons Blue Cross is extending dependent coverage early is to keep students who are graduating in May from losing their coverage. Dependents under age 26 who would otherwise have their coverage terminated May 31 because they are graduating will remain covered on their parents' policies (up to age 26)Back to top What steps must I take to add a new dependent to my group policy?
For standard fully insured groups, any time beginning June 1, 2010, your dependent (under age 26) can be added to your policy during your group's annual open enrollment period beginning with June 1, 2010, anniversaries. You will need to complete our standard enrollment form for adding a dependent.

ASO group members should check with your group leader or Human Resources officeBack to top What steps must I take to add a new dependent to my individual policy?
For individual policies, the dependent (under age 26) may apply on June 1, 2010, to be added, subject to underwriting. The parent should use a Change of Status form to add this dependent. Additional dependents whose applications are acceptable can be added to the policy with an effective date of your next billing periodBack to top Will this extension cover my dependent if he is no longer a student and is working for an employer that offers health insurance coverage?
Yes, effective June 1, dependents up to age 26 may remain on your existing policy or apply for coverage using the application methods described aboveBack to top Will this extension cover my dependent who lives out of state? 
Blue Cross policies will accept dependents who live out of state. HMO Louisiana policies may set up these dependents as dependents out-of-area if the parent requests itBack to top How will this coverage extension affect my handicapped adult child?
We will continue to cover permanently handicapped dependents as we always have. There is no age requirement for dependents who are permanently handicapped.