✅ Adding dependent parents to your health plan

A nurse practitioner examines an elderly patient at a clinic in Guerneville in February 2020. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters
A nurse practitioner examines an elderly patient at a clinic in Guerneville in February 2020. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters

By Ana B. Ibarra

WHAT THE BILL WOULD DO

AB 570 would require health insurance plans to make coverage available to their members’ dependent parents. Under federal law, people already can add their children up to age 26 to their health plans. Through this bill, authored by Assemblymember Miguel Santiago, a Los Angeles Democrat, California would be the first state to expand this benefit to include parents. This bill applies only to private state-regulated health plans.

WHO SUPPORTS IT

The bill was sponsored by state Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara and health care advocacy and immigrant rights organizations as a way to expand coverage and help a family reduce health care costs by having all family members covered by the same plan.

WHO’S OPPOSED

The California Association of Health Plans and the California Chamber of Commerce initially argued that the bill would raise premiums, but dropped their opposition after the bill was amended to exclude employer-sponsored and group plans.  

WHY IT MATTERS

The bill, which the state estimates would benefit up to 15,000 people, could be most helpful to middle-class families with undocumented parents who don’t qualify for Medicare or subsidized coverage through the state’s marketplace. This year’s state budget opened the state’s Medi-Cal program to low-income undocumented people 50 and older and removed some barriers for older Californians.

GOVERNOR’S CALL: ✅ The governor signed this bill on Oct. 4.