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Health-care relief for the children of feds?

By Ed O'Keefe

Eye Opener

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.

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

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By Ed O'Keefe  | May 5, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Eye Opener, Health Care, Workplace Issues  
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If somebody has a 26-year-old child still living with them and expects health insurance coverage, you've got bigger problems than health insurance. Give me a break -- Junior or Princess still living at home after graduating from college? Can't get a job? Freeloading (still) off of mommy and daddy? Cut the umbilical cord and kick them out.

Posted by: Baltimore11 | May 5, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse


age 26?
no way

Posted by: newagent99 | May 5, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

I will admit that I have very little knowledge of what is in the health bill and when various parts of it kick in- I suspect that I am no worse off on the general information base than most if noyif nthis benefit is not available to not all those who voted for the bill-
however here is my question- if non federal employees cannot yet benefit from this family extension to age 26 what is it about federal employees that we should extend the benefit to them?

Posted by: 27anon72 | May 5, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

First, read the story "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 current law doesn't say insurance companies HAVE to insure adult children this year but many are OPTING to do so. The law doesn't allow the federal plans to OPT to do so this year. The change will allow the federal plans to do something currently being done by private plans. It's equalling the playing field.

As for "Junior or Princess" living at home, that's not always the case. Sometimes, the graduate is working and living on their own but their job doesn't provide health care. The current law says these working adults can remain on their parent's plan.

Posted by: r6345 | May 5, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse


Princess or Prince is probably still in graduate school, trying to save money as they have none. If they are working, it's probably not full-time, and probably does not provide health insurance.

Also, in case you haven't noticed, it's kind of a crappy job market out there. A lot of my friends - graduated two years ago - are still living at home because they can't find gainful employment.

Posted by: brocrow2000 | May 5, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Clearly none of you has experience as a parent of a child with a chronic illness or disability. Type 1 diabetes, epilepsy, and a host of other conditions frequently strike young adults around the age when they're no longer eligible on their parents' policies, need medical care, and can't get it or get substandard care because suddenly these kids are uninsurable. The purpose of this provision is to help these children get the care they need.

Posted by: jody43jody | May 5, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

If it is good for the Feds children now then it should be good for all now but of course I dont see the Obamacare passing the litmus tests by 2014 If we are all lucky it will be gone before the bad stuff they dont want to talk about kicks in Repeal Obamacare and Kick out Obama.

Posted by: Jemmottp | May 12, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

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