New provision regarding dependents per Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
In March 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law. Though some parts of the act will not take effect until the year 2014, many major provisions dealing with health care coverage are becoming effective now.
One such provision "allows employees to maintain health benefits coverage for a dependant child until the age of 26," Human Resources advisory No. 2010-25 states, "The effective date of this provision is the first day of the plan year that is six months following enactment of the law."
Federal employees should note that this stipulation means that coverage for children cannot be processed until the 2011 Federal Employee's Health Benefits Open Season -- which starts on Nov. 8, 2010 -- with an effective date of Jan. 1, 2011, according to the advisory.
Procedures for the implementation of the new program are still being developed, however.
"The Office of Personnel Management is currently working to establish guidance and procedures for implementation of the program," the advisory adds. "OPM will publish this information in time for the 2011 Open Season."
Once guidance is received and procedures are developed, the Benefits and Entitlements service team will update all information regarding the new option to add children under the age of 26 to FEHB. A benefits bulletin will also be released that will include directions on actions required to add children to the FEHB coverage