Changes to New York State Health Coverage Rights Require Employer Coordination With Insurers

December 2009

The New York State legislature recently enacted two laws which provide for continued health coverage under certain circumstances. The first law extends to 36 months the period during which individuals covered under a New York medical insurance policy are entitled to continuation coverage in connection with a qualifying event ("Extended Continuation Coverage"). The second law requires medical insurance policies to provide coverage to certain employees' dependents through age 29.

The laws apply to insurance policies issued pursuant to New York state insurance law, even if the policies cover employees who do not reside in New York. Conversely, New York employers or other employers who provide medical benefits to New York employees under an insurance policy issued pursuant to another state's law are not affected by these laws.

This Alert describes the changes to coverage rights and suggests actions employers should take to comply with the changes.