New York Gov. David A. Paterson signed into law a series of health reform efforts that include extending coverage to those who are both uninsured and under the age of 29 while also increasing the age of a dependent to 29. In signing the bills, Paterson said, “The reforms will make health insurance more affordable for New Yorkers by enhancing access to group health insurance.”
One bill extends the period of time for coverage under the federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) for employees who lose their job to continue health insurance. The new law extends the period of coverage from 18 months to 36 months. A second bill requires health insurers to allow unmarried children age 29 and younger, regardless of financial dependence, to be covered under a parent’s group health insurance policy. The new laws will take effect on Sept. 1, 2009.
HFA believes that these measures will have a tremendous cumulative effect in maintaining a level of health security for New York families. We applaud the leadership demonstrated in Albany by lawmakers to ensure that young adults with bleeding disorders and their families do not fall through the cracks at a point in time when community members are in transition towards greater independence.