Add your parents to your health insurance plan? California maybe says.



Supporters have presented the bill as a way to increase coverage among the state’s uninsured population.

Adults could add dependent relatives to health plans under proposed California law. Including dependent children in insurance policies has long been a standard procedure in the healthcare industry. Controversial legislation considered in california, however, would reverse the scenario by allowing adult children to add dependent parents to their plans.

A proposal from MP Miguel Santiago passed its first committee hearing this week. If this became law, California would be the only state to allow this, according to the state’s Department of Insurance. Supporters, including Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, say it will save families money, among other things, by limiting their spending to a shared maximum limit.

Related: 26-Year-Olds Falling Off Parental Insurance Cliff Aren’t Doing So Well

“When we were young our parents were there for us and took care of us,” said Lara. “Now we can take care of them when they need it most. “

However, business groups say adding many seniors to their large group insurance plans will only drive up their already skyrocketing premium costs. Employer contributions would increase between $ 200 million and $ 800 million per year, depending on the number of people registered. The result, they say, would be increased health care costs for everyone.

“If passed, the bill will likely increase access to healthcare for Americans, which is always a huge plus,” said Sina Chehrazi, CEO and co-founder of Nayya. “But it’s hard to predict the impact in terms of costs for employers and premiums. However, what this shows us is that there is still a huge gap in how American workers choose the right health plans for themselves and / or their families. If this bill passes, we must give our employees the tools and guidance they need to understand the costs and benefits associated with these types of changes, so that they can protect themselves against rising costs.

To be eligible, parents would have to meet the IRS’s definition of a dependent, which means they depend on their children for at least 50% of their support.

Supporters have presented the bill as a way to increase coverage of the state’s uninsured population, which is mostly made up of people who live illegally in the country and are not eligible for insurance programs funded by the state. government such as Medicaid and Medicare. These people are also not eligible for federal assistance to purchase private coverage through Covered California, the state health insurance exchange.

But it’s unclear how many parents would enroll in their children’s insurance plans if given the option. An analysis from the California Health Benefits Review Program estimates that between 20,000 and 80,000 parents would. Another risk for employers would be for parents who live outside the United States to move to the country to live with their children in order to obtain coverage.

“The possibility of receiving care in the United States would be very attractive, especially for people with high-risk conditions,” the analysis said.

Lara’s office dismissed this concern, saying that “it is always an argument that comes up whenever we expand health care options.” Since 2016, the California Medicaid program has covered children living illegally in the United States. The state has not seen a corresponding increase in the number of immigrants coming to the state.

“The reality is that expanding health care choices are helping Californians, outright,” Lara’s office wrote in an email to The Associated Press. “The current state law requirement that a person ‘live, work and reside’ in California would apply. “

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