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Pa. And NJ Have Some Options To Fill In Popular Health Care Law Provision, If Struck Down

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(Credit: Getty Images)

(Credit: Getty Images)

John Ostapkovich John Ostapkovich
John Ostapkovich brings humor and wit, and a wealth of experience...
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By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – One of the provisions of the federal health care reform law extends a parent’s coverage of dependent children to age 26.  But if the federal law is struck down, what then?

Neither Pennsylvania nor New Jersey officials would speculate on the big picture of health reform’s fate, but that each state addresses uninsured young adults on its own.

Pennsylvania passed a pre-health reform law extending possible coverage to age 30, says the Insurance Department’s Melissa Fox.

But, she says, “The way the Pennsylvania law is written, it’s up to the discretion of the policy-holder, meaning the employer.”

New Jersey actually has three paths to coverage: COBRA, New Jersey’s Small Group Continuation and one more: “We call it the New Jersey Dependant Under 31, the DU 31 election,” says Marshall McKnight, of the Department of Banking and Insurance.

“If a young adult’s parent becomes covered under a group health benefits plan sometime after the young adult reaches age 26, but before the 31st birthday, the young adult may be eligible to enroll as an over-age child of the parent.”

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