Youth not wasted on the uninsuredLifeHealthPro Blog added by Denis Storey on May 3, 2011
Denis Storey

Denis Storey

Centennial, CO

Joined: September 29, 2010

My Company

This might not come as news to you, but younger adults are flocking to their parents’ health plans at a record clip this year.

The health care law provision that allows anyone under 26 to stay on their parents’ health plans is driving these raging enrollment numbers, according to Kaiser Health News.

Wellpoint, for example, reported the expanded dependent provision accounting for adding a whopping 280,000 new members in the first quarter. That demographic accounted for a third of its total new enrollment.

And they’re not alone. Again, according to Kaiser Health News, Aetna tacked on close to 100,000, Kaiser Permanente added about 90,000, Highmark around 72,000 and Health Care Service Corp. another 82,000.

Even the feds have gotten into the act, racking up another 280,000 dependent coverage enrollees.

These early numbers clearly point to enrollment numbers that, by the end of the year, will easily outpace the Health and Human Services Department’s 1.2 million enrollment estimate.

While it met with early opposition during the heated exchanges over the bill – still an incredibly flawed piece of legislation – carriers are clearly seeing a bump profits due in no small part to these new members, most of whom are healthy and boast low utilization rates.

For human resources, this is something you definitely have to stay on top of – if you aren’t already. While the provision went into effect last year, it wasn’t mandated until January. So get out in front of this, communicate with employees and be a resource. Wouldn’t you rather have them coming to you about enrollment questions and issues than trolling the Internet for half-baked answers and blatant misinformation?
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