College students about to graduate and other young adults in danger of losing healthcare coverage under their parents' policies may get a break.
Three of the nation's largest health insurers announced this week that young adults can remain under their parents' policies until Sept. 23, when a new federal law guarantees them coverage.
UnitedHealthcare, WellPoint Inc. and Humana Inc. said they will not wait until President Obama's new healthcare reforms take effect. They include provisions allowing young adults to remain under their parents' health plans until age 26.
Other companies may follow their lead, federal officials said.
UnitedHealthcare, of Minneapolis, and Humana, of Louisville, Ky., said they would immediately bridge the coverage for young adults.
UnitedHealthcare's decision is expected to affect about 150,000 young adults, the company said.
"Our goal is to provide continuity of existing coverage," spokeswoman Cheryl Randolph said.
In its statement, Humana said: "Young adults who are finishing college or just beginning to look for a job in such a competitive environment won't have to worry that they'll lose their health coverage."