Employer-Provided Health Coverage for Adult Children

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On May 10, 2010, the Department of Health & Human Services ("HHS"), in conjunction with the Department of Labor and the Treasury Department, issued interim final regulations implementing the requirement to expand health insurance coverage to adult children up to age 26. The regulations, which provide guidance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (the "Health Care Reform Act") (see our Client Alert 10-067, "The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act"), and the coverage requirement, become effective for plan years beginning on or after September 23, 2010 (i.e., January 1, 2011 for calendar year plans).

Definition of Dependent. The regulations do not provide a definition of dependent, but require group health plans to define dependent for these purposes in terms of the relationship between the child and the employee, and limit the definition to an employee's adult child who has not attained age 26 ("Health Care Dependent"). The regulations, however, do provide that definitions of dependent may not be based on residency, financial dependence or student status, and that coverage for a grandchild or the spouse of a child is not required. Confirmation of a child's age is to be based upon the employee's representation as to the child's date of birth.

Please see full alert below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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