Who is a dependent for health insurance
By: Janet L. Kaminski, Associate Legislative Attorney
You asked for (1) information on other states ' laws that increase the age at which a dependent child is no longer eligible for coverage under a parent ' s health insurance policy and (2) copies of testimony for Senate Bill 409 (2006).
In an attempt to address the growing uninsured population of young adults, state lawmakers nationally are proposing and enacting legislation that extends dependent benefits to older children, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Typically, a child loses coverage under a parent ' s health insurance policy at age 19, or age 23 if he is a full-time student at an accredited educational institution. (This is current Connecticut law.) Some states have passed laws that permit older dependent children to stay covered under a parent ' s policy (Colorado, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New
Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, and Utah). The laws, which vary, are summarized below and copies are enclosed.
In 2006, the Insurance and Real Estate Committee raised SB 409, An Act Establishing the Nutmeg Health Partnership Insurance Plan. The bill required insurance policies that cover dependent children to provide coverage until the child turns age 26. The committee held a public hearing on the bill and reported out a favorable substitute bill. It was not taken up by the Senate. Copies of the bill status report, the bill, the public hearing transcript, and written testimony are enclosed.
Table 1 provides a summary of state laws that expand the definition of a dependent child for purposes of health insurance. Most of the information is from NCSL and may be viewed at www.ncsl.org/programs/health/dependentstatus.htm .
Table 1: States with Expanded Dependent Age RequirementSource: www.cga.ct.gov