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McKeon, Vainieri Huttle & Speight Bill to Require Longer Continuation of Health Coverage for Children Now Law

As part of a 12-bill legislative package introduced in the Assembly to safeguard residents from federal changes to the Affordable Care Act, legislation (A-5501) sponsored by Assembly members John McKeon (D-Essex), Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) and Shanique Speight (D-Essex) to ensure families are able to provide older children healthcare benefits under their health insurance plan was signed into law by the Governor on Thursday.

The sponsors issued a joint statement:

“With many college graduates returning home while they look for jobs, there was a steep rise in residents ages 19 -26 without access to healthcare. For those who did have insurance through their parents, the cost became an additional, unexpected burden on families.

“The Affordable Care Act has significantly helped to reduce the uninsured rate for young adults under the age of 26 by allowing parents to cover them in their own plans without the requirement of a separate premium. Codifying this into New Jersey State law helps families ensure their children, whether they are continuing their education or at home temporarily, are provided for in terms of healthcare.”

Previously, New Jersey did not have a requirement to include coverage for a child to a certain age. The law, however, did allow a parent covered under a group plan to elect to continue covering a child from the date the child would otherwise age-out until age 31 under certain criteria, but at up to 102% of the child premium rate.

The measure cleared the full Assembly in June 2019, 72-0.