Open Enrollment

Katie Pavlich
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Posted: Nov 17, 2010 11:24 AM
It's that time of year again when employees are filling out their paper work for healthcare open enrollment, but this year, young "adults" may find themselves confused about whether they are an adult, child or adult-child.

While participating in open enrollment this year, I found the following:

-Dependents must be enrolled in all three plans except adult children ages 23-26

-Who can be enrolled? Adult children up to age 26 (medical only)

-Adult children up to age 19/23 if full-time student

-No pre-existing conditions for children up to age 19

-Dependent children can be covered to age 26

-Long term care: Open to spouse, parent, parent-in-law, siblings, grandparents, grandparents-in-law, adult-children, and retirees

The State Department defines an adult as the following:

When a Child Becomes an Adult
Turning 18:  When a child reaches the age of 18, they become a full legal adult in most US localities. That may not be the case in overseas environments where the age for acquiring adult status under another country’s jurisdiction may differ significantly.


In any event, those turning 18:

    * Need to be encouraged to register to vote in U.S. local, state and federal elections.
    * Can join the military, receive medical care, get married, and receive a number of other adult privileges and responsibilities without parental consent.
    * Need to be reminded, if they are male, to register for the Selective Service.

Some "dependent" status remains, at least in the context of the Federal Government. Children retain the status of eligible family member (EMF) until they turn 21. They would still be eligible to work in a job designated for EMFs at an overseas mission. They will still be on parents' travel orders, covered by their health insurance, and the medical services of the embassy or consulate health unit, and be eligible for evacuation for either medical or security reasons.


Now, the age at which children act like adults can be debated, however, shouldn't we all be clear about when children should start at least trying to act like adults?