This week, California Governor Newsom signed 770 bills into law. One of them was AB 570 (Santiago), also known as the “Parent Healthcare Act” that becomes effective for individual health care coverage issued, amended or renewed beginning January 1, 2023. This change in the law will allow adult children to add their parents or step parents to their individual health insurance coverage, if the plan allows for dependent coverage and the applicant lives within the plan’s service area. This new law will affect a small number of people who might be added to an adult child’s health care coverage, but could be an important source of coverage for a parent or step-parent who isn’t eligible for Medicare or who doesn’t have enough quarters of Social Security for free Medicare Part A coverage.
California Health Advocates supported this bill during the legislative process and requested an amendment to require notification of free Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) counseling to any parent or step parent who is eligible for or enrolled in Medicare and being added to their adult child’s individual health care coverage. There are important considerations connected to Medicare and other coverage that Medicare beneficiaries need to know, whether they are enrolled in Medicare or not. HICAP is the place for Medicare beneficiaries to get that information.
If an adult child wants to add their parent or step-parent to their coverage the plan has to provide written notice to anyone who is eligible for or enrolled in Medicare about the free counseling services available from HICAP. If the applicant applies through Covered California they will also receive written notice about the free counseling services from HICAP.
You can find your local HICAP here, or call 1-800-434-0222 to schedule an appointment with a HICAP counselor.