Many provisions of the the federal health reform legislation, known as the Affordable Care Act, did not go into effect immediately. For instance, the Act's key provision, the insurance "mandate," does go into effect until 2014. One part, however, that went into effect shortly after enactment is the requirement that an insurer cover adults under age 26 if the insurer already provides coverage for the young adult's parent(s). This provision has expanded coverage considerably. Kaiser Health News is reporting that
Hundreds of thousands of young adults are taking advantage of the 2010 health-care-law provision that allows people younger than 26 to remain on their parents' health plans, some of the nation's largest insurers are reporting. That pace appears to be faster than the government expected. WellPoint, the nation's largest publicly traded health insurer, with 34 million customers, said the provision on dependents was responsible for adding 280,000 members. That was about one-third of its total enrollment growth in the first three months of this year. Other large insurers said they had also added tens of thousands of young adults. Aetna, for example, added fewer than 100,000; Kaiser Permanente, about 90,000; Highmark Inc., about 72,000; Health Care Service Corp., about 82,000; Blue Shield of California, about 22,000; and United Healthcare, about 13,000.