Health-care relief for the children of feds?
Happy Wednesday! Lawmakers have introduced a measure that would allow the Office of Personnel Management to extend health-care coverage to the adult children of federal workers before the new federal health-care law takes effect next year.
Several health insurance companies plan to extend coverage to adult children up to age 26 starting in June, but current federal law prohibits OPM from doing the same for workers in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. The bill — cosponsored by Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) and Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.) — was introduced amid a push by federal workers unions.
“OPM needs the authority to implement this very important provision sooner and this legislation is designed to do just that,” Van Hollen said in a statement.
Margaret L. Baptiste, president of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association said the coverage “would be particularly helpful to dependent children about to graduate from trade school, college or university who could have difficulty finding employment with health benefits in the present unfavorable job market.”
It's unclear how quickly the bill might move through the House, whether it has Senate support and how much it might cost taxpayers. If it does not pass by June, federal workers with adult children can apply for a temporary continuation of coverage or convert them to an individual policy, according to OPM.
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