Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma has made the voluntary decision to expedite a provision of the new reform law and will allow dependents currently covered under their parent’s health plan to stay on the plan until the age of 26. Instead of implementing the change on Sept. 23, 2010, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma extended the coverage May 1, 2010, in time to benefit this spring’s college graduates.
“We quickly agreed that early implementation of this provision would provide a significant benefit to young adults in this economically challenging year,” says Bert Marshall, president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma. “Because we knew we would be making the change in September, we felt confident that we could move up our deadline.”
Once the gap in coverage is closed, young adults currently covered under their parent’s health plan will be able to stay on their parent’s health plans until the age of 26, regardless of student status, marital status, or employment.
The provision does not apply to self-insured businesses, or to collectively bargained groups. However, if these groups wish to extend coverage to dependents under the age of 26 before the required implementation, we will help facilitate the change in policy.
Throughout its 70-year history, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma has been committed to meeting the health care financing needs of Oklahomans. As the state’s oldest and largest private health insurer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma provides health care benefit plans for more than 600,000 Oklahomans. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma is a division of Health Care Service Corporation, which also operates Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Illinois, New Mexico and Texas. Health Care Service Corporation is a mutual legal reserve company and an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, visit www.bcbsok.com.