FEDweek

Temporary Continuation of Health Insurance for Children

Last week I pointed out that with one exception, any child who is covered under your FEHB enrollment loses that coverage when he or she turns age 26. That exception applies to any covered child who is incapable of self-support because of a mental or physical disability that existed before age 26.

All other children who turn 26 will have a 31-day extension of coverage at no cost to themselves. After that, they’ll be eligible to convert to an individual policy under the Temporary Continuation of Coverage (TCC) provision of law. That coverage can continue for up to 18 months.

If your child is about to turn 26, you’ll have to let your personnel office know that within 60 days from the day your child’s 26th birthday. And your child will have 60 days from his or her 26th birthday (or the date your personnel office acknowledges your request) to enroll in TCC.

Enrollment is optional. If your child wants to convert to a policy offered by your plan, he or she will have to do that in writing within 31 days after coverage as a family member ends. No proof of insurability will be required.

If your child elects to enroll in the TCC program, he or she will have to pay the premiums for that coverage directly to your agency. Unlike the premiums you pay for your FEHB coverage, which are heavily subsidized by the government, your child will have to pay 100 percent of the premiums, plus 2 percent to cover your agency’s administrative expenses.