Most health insurances only allow coverage of a dependent until a certain age. For Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey the age restriction was coverage would terminate at the end of the year in which a dependent turns 23. However this has changed with the implementation of Chapter 375, a new mandate that allows coverage to continue until age 30. There are some limitations and restrictions but for the most part the new mandate is bringing joy to many over age dependents attempting to peruse further schooling or for dependents who are unable to provider health coverage for themselves.
The new mandate does not apply to employers with Administrative Services Only (ASO) contracts however; ASO clients will have the option to offer the continued coverage to their employees. For the most part all other group coverage is included in its implementation. The best part is that a dependent does not even need to be living in New Jersey as long as they are a full time student and meet the other criteria for coverage. Something that varies however from the normal Horizon policy is that the dependent who elects Chapter 375 will only remain covered until their 30th birthday, not until the end of the year in which they turn 30.
According to Horizon's website Q & A on the new Mandate eligibility must include:
-Is The child of a subscriber who is less than age 30;
– Is not married;
– Has no dependents of his / her own;
– Is either a resident of New Jersey or enrolled as a full-time student at an accredited public or private institution of higher education;
– Is not covered under any other group or individual health benefits plan and is not covered under Medicare;
– Must have previously aged-out of their parent's group health plan, which is a fully-insured plan issued in New Jersey and Is the child of a parent who is actively covered under a group health plan, which is a fully-insured plan issued in.
Another great thing is that even if a member is eligible for coverage (with the exception of Medicare) they are not forced into taking it. They would still be eligible for Chapter 375.
The biggest draw back is the cost. Chapter 375 is more costly then even COBRA coverage. I would recommend to anyone who is about to become an over-age dependent elect COBRA coverage first and then once COBRA's limitations run out then at that point elect Chapter 375. The reason for this is that COBRA is generally cheaper than the Chapter 375's cost. This will save you money but gain you the same coverage as you had under your parents contract.