This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Is Your Health Plan 'grandfathered'? You May Be Getting Gypped

All health insurance plans, whether they're grandfathered or not, have to extend coverage to adult children up to age 26. However, until 2014, grandfathered group plans don't have to extend that coverage if the young-adult dependent has access to job-based health benefits elsewhere.

The fact that almost half of workers are still in grandfathered plans doesn't surprise Judy Waxman, the National Women's Law Center vice president for health and reproductive rights. The center is a strong proponent of the Affordable Care Act.

"It's right on target for what I expected," she says. "It's only been two and a half years (since the health care reform law was passed) and already half are not grandfathered. I think we're coming along nicely."

And some grandfathered health plans are providing more protection than they have to, Waxman says. Her employer's health plan is grandfathered but fully covers preventive care, including preventive services for women, without charging a copayment, deductible or coinsurance. The law's requirement for non-grandfathered plans to fully cover general preventive care went into effect two years ago, and the requirement to cover a specific list of women's preventive care services, including birth control, went into effect in August of this year. More information is in: "Ladies: More medical care without health insurance co-pays coming in 2012."

The outlook for grandfathered health plans

A health plan can stay grandfathered indefinitely, but most plans offered by midsize and large employers will probably lose that status in the next two years, says Julie Stone, a senior consultant for Towers Watson, a global consulting firm. To maintain grandfathered status, an employer can't increase the plan's costs for workers -- a tough limitation for companies in the midst of rising health care costs.

Stone says most employers who maintained grandfathered status did so as a strategic move to keep their options open while they evaluated how to move forward.

2 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,806.48 -6.91 -0.04%
S&P 500 2,089.50 +0.63 0.03%
NASDAQ 5,119.8670 +3.7240 0.07%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs