Date: September 20, 2010
To: All Faculty and Staff
From: Vivian Fernandez
Vice President Faculty and Staff Resources
Subject: Important Information Regarding Extended SHBP Coverage for Children Until Age 26

In March 2010, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) into Federal law. One of the provisions of PPACA allows for the extension of insurance coverage for children until age 26. Currently, the State Health Benefits Program (SHBP) which includes medical, prescription drug and dental plans, only permits the coverage of dependent children until age 23. As a result of the PPACA, employees may extend SHBP coverage for eligible dependents that lost coverage when they reached the age 23 limitation. Enrollment elections must be made during the Open Enrollment period from October 1, 2010 to October 29, 2010, and will become effective on January 1, 2011.

Eligibility

An enrollee’s child is considered eligible until age 26, regardless of the child’s marital, student, or financial dependency status, even if the young adult no longer lives with his or her parents.

Coverage will be extended to eligible children through December 31 of the year they turn age 26. However, until 2014, the extension of coverage is only available if the adult child is not eligible to enroll in employer-based coverage (aside from coverage through the parent).

Employees will receive enrollment information from University Human Resources as part of the regular SHBP Open Enrollment communications. For all enrollments, an application must be submitted along with a photocopy of the child's birth certificate that includes the covered parent’s name, or other supporting documentation for foster or stepchildren.

Chapter 375 coverage until age 31

Chapter 375, P.L. 2005 permits extended coverage for children until age 31. Children ages 23 through 26 who are currently enrolled for extended SHBP coverage under the provisions of Chapter 375, P.L. 2005, will need to be enrolled during October Open Enrollment Period for SHBP coverage as a child under age 26. For more information, please visit our Chapter 375 FAQ.

Additional information

Please note that applications submitted prior to October 1, 2010 will not be processed by the New Jersey Division of Pensions and Benefits. Children currently covered under Chapter 375 under age 26 may be reenrolled in the SHBP plans during the Open Enrollment period. Covered children who turn age 23 during 2010 do not need to enroll during October to continue coverage in 2011 as coverage will be continued automatically.

For more information, visit the Dependent SHBP Coverage for Children Until Age 26 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). The FAQs will continue to be updated as University Human Resources receives additional information from the NJ Division of Pensions and Benefits. If you have any questions, you may contact a Benefits Specialist at 732-932-3020, ext. 4077. Visit UHR News for an article on this topic.