The new healthcare laws are crazy, I don’t mean bad crazy necessarily, just crazy complicated. But then, I guess, aren’t all laws? Anyway, there are too many caveats and details to keep up with so I called up Paul Ashley of First Person for his expertise. Specifically I’m confused/angry about adult children up to the age of 26 being able to remain on their parents’ healthcare plan. Check out this segment from The Pete the Planner Radio Show to find out why this law makes me super salty.The section of the law we are concerning ourselves with today is how adult children are able to remain on their parents’ healthcare plan until the end of the month in which they turn 26. This makes me mad. Why? Because 20, 30, 100, 1,000 years ago a 26 year old was an adult. A full-fledged adult doing adult stuff. Now adults up to the age of 26 regardless of if they are married, filling taxes on their own, in college, or have a healthcare plan available through their employer can still stay on their parents’ plan. Crazy. This law is just one piece in the bigger picture of sociological trends which are causing adult children to remain financially tied to their parents well into their 20s and beyond. This is bad. It’s bad for parents who are forgoing other financial priorities to help out their kids (ahem, retirement) and it’s bad for kids who are no longer stepping up to do what they’ve got to do.
What kind of financial behaviors will this create?
Who will pay for these incurred costs? The parents, the adult children, the parents’ employers, or the adult children’s employers?
According to Paul this is actually a very popular portion of the new healthcare laws and is unlikely to change. And since that’s the case, well, you have to change. You have to refuse to include your married adult child with a job on your insurance plan. Adult children, you’ve got to step up. I realize there are circumstances where an adult under the age of 26 may have reason to be on their parents’ insurance plan, but that is not going to be the norm by any means.
It’s possible I’m crazy for being upset about this, but actually no, it’s not. I’ve seen many parents sacrifice a timely retirement because their adult children can’t get it together. How about we let adults just be adults?
Peter Dunn a.k.a. Pete the Planner® is an award-winning financial mind and a former comedian. He’s a USA TODAY columnist, author of ten books, and is the host of the popular radio show and podcast, The Pete the Planner Show. Pete is considered one of the foremost experts on financial wellness in the world, but he’s just as likely to talk your ear off about bass fishing.