For Graduating Students and Alumni under the age of 26

Residents of Massachusetts over the age of 18 must provide proof of continuous health insurance coverage or be subject to tax penalties. Understanding that health care premiums here in Massachusetts and across the country can be unaffordable for those who are starting out on their own, unemployed, or self-employed, the Berklee Alumni Affairs Office wanted to let you know that you may now have access to employer sponsored health insurance through your parents even if you previously had coverage and were canceled due to your age or student status.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed into law by the President last March requires that health insurance plans that offer dependent coverage make the coverage available until a child reaches the age of 26. So if you are under the age of 26, you can be considered an eligible dependent for coverage under your parents plan regardless of whether you are a full-time student, you live with your parents, can be claimed as their tax dependent, or are married.

Starting September 23, 2010, your parents may have been able to add you to their insurance plan in conjunction with their plan’s next annual open enrollment period. There is also the opportunity to enroll within 30 days of a qualifying event such as a loss of coverage due to a job change or the expiration of your student health insurance.

If you remain on your parents plan until your 26th birthday, you will at that time be canceled, but will be offered COBRA coverage for 18 additional months at the cost of 102% of the premium.

So talk to your parents or guardians and be covered.