(a)(1) Every health benefit plan delivered, issued for delivery, or renewed in this state and every group health insurance contract, plan, or policy delivered, issued for delivery or renewed in this state which provides health benefits coverage for dependents, except for supplemental policies which only provide coverage for specified diseases and other supplemental policies, shall make coverage available for children until attainment of twenty-six (26) years of age, and an unmarried child of any age who is financially dependent upon the parent and medically determined to have a physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than twelve (12) months.
Terms Used In Rhode Island General Laws 27-18-59. Eligibility for children's benefits
- contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
- dependent: A person dependent for support upon another.
- Grandfathered health plan: means any group health plan or health insurance coverage subject to 42 USC § 18011. See Rhode Island General Laws 27-18-1.1
- Group health plan: means an employee welfare benefit plan, as defined in 29 USC § 1002(1), to the extent that the plan provides health benefits to employees or their dependents directly or through insurance, reimbursement, or otherwise. See Rhode Island General Laws 27-18-1.1
- guardian: A person legally empowered and charged with the duty of taking care of and managing the property of another person who because of age, intellect, or health, is incapable of managing his (her) own affairs.
- health benefit plan: means health insurance coverage and a group health plan, including coverage provided through an association plan if it covers Rhode Island residents. See Rhode Island General Laws 27-18-1.1
- Health insurance carrier: means a person, firm, corporation or other entity subject to the jurisdiction of the commissioner under this chapter. See Rhode Island General Laws 27-18-1.1
- person: extends to and includes co-partnerships and bodies corporate and politic. See Rhode Island General Laws 43-3-6
(2) With respect to a child who has not attained twenty-six (26) years of age, a health insurance carrier shall not define “dependent” for purposes of eligibility for dependent coverage of children other than the terms of a relationship between a child and the plan participant, or subscriber.
(3) A health insurance carrier shall not deny or restrict coverage for a child who has not attained twenty-six (26) years of age based on the presence or absence of the child’s financial dependency upon the participant, primary subscriber or any other person, residency with the participant and in the individual market the primary subscriber, or with any other person, marital status, student status, employment or any combination of those factors. A health carrier shall not deny or restrict coverage of a child based on eligibility for other coverage, except as provided in subparagraph (b)(1) of this section.
(4) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a health insurance carrier to make coverage available for the child of a child receiving dependent coverage, unless the grandparent becomes the legal guardian or adoptive parent of that grandchild.
(5) The terms of coverage in a health benefit plan offered by a health insurance carrier providing dependent coverage of children cannot vary based on age except for children who are twenty-six (26) years of age or older.
(b)(1) For plan years beginning before January 1, 2014, a health insurance carrier providing group health insurance coverage that is a grandfathered health plan and makes available dependent coverage of children may exclude an adult child who has not attained twenty-six (26) years of age from coverage only if the adult child is eligible to enroll in an eligible employer-sponsored health benefit plan, as defined in section 5000A(f)(2) of the federal Internal Revenue Code, other than the group health plan of a parent.
(2) For plan years, beginning on or after January 1, 2014, a health insurance carrier providing group health insurance coverage that is a grandfathered health plan shall comply with the requirements of subsections (a) through (e) of this section.
(c) This section does not apply to insurance coverage providing benefits for: (1) hospital confinement indemnity; (2) disability income; (3) accident only; (4) long term care; (5) Medicare supplement; (6) limited benefit health; (7) specified diseased indemnity; or (8) sickness or bodily injury or death by accident or both; or (9) other limited benefit policies.
(P.L. 2000, ch. 214, § 1; P.L. 2002, ch. 292, § 33; P.L. 2006, ch. 377, § 2; P.L. 2006, ch. 469, § 2; P.L. 2012, ch. 256, § 3; P.L. 2012, ch. 262, § 3.)