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Push is on to get health insurance extensions now for children under parents policies

by Elizabeth Bahm – The push is underway to encourage insurers to immediately extend health insurance coverage for adult children up to age 26, according to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.That would mean May and June college graduates may not have to wait for the September deadline mandated by health care reform.The health care reform legislation extends coverge to adult children up to their 26th birthdays under their parents’ policies as of September, leaving a gap in coverage for May and June college graduates. Sebelius said her own children are affected by the situation.

Extended coverage already applies in Illinois health insurance policies but expires at graduation for many young adults in other states. Sebelius spoke at the Association of Health Care Journalists, meeting in Chicago through Sunday at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place.She said that â??a number of major insurersâ? have already agreed to extend the benefits to young adults, a major uninsured group in the country, and that she expects more to follow.  A similar push for immediate implementation is in progress on the law’s provision to protect people from losing policies when they become ill.

Sebelius said that the 10-year timetable of reforms under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act must be better understood for voters to protect the benefits. Midterm elections could pose the threat of repeal to parts of health care reform law and she said that early implementation and public understanding are thus critical.Sebelius said educating people about health care reform, and the impact of a complex law, is the key challenge for making it succeed as implementation begins this year.

Part of the challenge now is not only a massive implementation effort but also a massive communication effort, Sebelius said. She stressed the need to tackle misinformation spread by various interest groups. In addition to efforts to make immediate changes in Americansâ?? health coverage opportunities, Sebelius also emphasized the importance of comprehensive outreach about the bill.  Plans for phone lines and web portals that can answer individual questions about new policies are planned.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 27th, 2010 at 1:54 am and is filed under Illinois Health Inssurance News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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