The Health Care Bill and Being Over 23

I turn 23 in September, which would have meant I would have gone off my family’s health insurance (Healthnet, if it matters, I’m in California). However, thanks to the new health care reform bill, I have been told that I would be able to stay onto the health plan until age 26, which is obviously a wonderful thing for me, since the COBRA extension I would have otherwise taken is quite expensive.

Unfortunately, it is possible that the new law may take effect some time after my 23rd birthday, and I’m not sure what that would mean. Would I have a few months of COBRA, or no insurance? Would I just be extended until 26 as if I was younger? Would they say I missed the cutoff completely? I have to say, it seems strange that they could cut me off under the old rules, when if next year someone were to get my father’s job, and they had a 23 year old child, that child would presumably get insurance under the new law for the next 3 years.

But I don’t really know anything about this, so does anyone know the law or know any place I could go to find some answers? (Besides the SDMB?) I have called my Insurance company but they have yet to reply, and I have the sneaking suspicion that they are looking for a way to cut me off or push me onto COBRA.

Thanks for your help

Check out this fact sheet:

The law takes effect on Sep 23, 2010. “Secretary Kathleen Sebelius called on leading insurance companies to begin covering young adults voluntarily before the September 23 implementation date required by the new health reform law”. The .pdf has a list of insurance companies who have agreed to maintain coverage. Wellpoint is on the list: unfortunately I don’t see Healthnet.

Since the fact sheet mentions that the companies who voluntarily extend coverage before Sept 23 will avoid the administrative costs of of removing and then re-enrolling people, I think the worst case scenario is that you will become ineligible on your birthday, and become eligible again at he beginning of the next plan year starting after 9/23 ( and that’s assuming California has not already mandated that insurers provide coverage past age 23)

AB 1602 has passed the State House in California (42-21): it now moves to the Senate. It implements HCR for those between the ages of 23 and 26, but as far as I can tell it maintains the Sep 23, 2010 start date.

If your insurance company continues to give you the run-around, the folks at Health Care For America Now - California might provide some assistance or at least noise: