Senators Santarsiero, Brooks Reintroduce Bi-Partisan Legislation to Expand Health Coverage for Children Until Age 26

BUCKS COUNTY — March 1, 2021 — State Senators Steve Santarsiero (D-10) and Michele Brooks (R-50) will be reintroducing legislation that will allow children to stay on their parent’s health insurance until age 26.  Under current Pennsylvania law, a child can stay on his or her parent’s insurance until he or she reaches age 19. Senate Bill 53 seeks to increase that age to 26 to bring the Commonwealth in line with federal law. 

“Access to quality, affordable health insurance is a critical right for all individuals,” said Sen. Santarsiero.  “SB 53 will improve access to healthcare by allowing young adults to stay on their parent’s insurance until age 26.  We have seen during the pandemic that medical treatment can be the difference between life and death, and that insurance through an employer is not a guarantee.  After years of attacks on the Affordable Care Act, we must act at the state level to ensure no young Pennsylvanian must choose between healthcare and financial hardship.”

“In this difficult economic climate, it is important that young adults in Pennsylvania can remain on their parents’ health insurance until the age of 26, as the current Affordable Care Act provides. There are a variety of reasons why a young adult would need to stay on a parent’s insurance, including continuing their education or working in an entry-level job that does not provide health insurance.  Pennsylvania is taking a proactive approach to ensure coverage for young adults if the Affordable Care Act is repealed at the federal level,” Sen. Brooks said.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance, 89,000 young adults have insurance coverage because they are able to stay on their parent’s insurance. 

Senators Santarsiero and Brooks are reintroducing this legislation, having initially introduced this legislation during the previous Senate session.  With the start of the new session in January 2021, all bills that were not passed in the previous session must be re-introduced and begin the legislative process anew.



Senators  Santarsiero, Iovino, Hughes and Brooks to Introduce Legislation to Protect Healthcare Rights of Pennsylvanians

HARRISBURG − October 15, 2019 − In an effort to protect the healthcare rights of Pennsylvanians in the event the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is overturned through judicial actions at the federal level, state Senators Steve Santarsiero (D-10), Pam Iovino (D-37), Vincent Hughes (D-7), and Michele Brooks (R-50) announced they will soon be introducing legislation that allows young adults in Pennsylvania to stay on their parents’ health insurance until age 26 and that prohibits health insurance policies within the Commonwealth from imposing either an annual or lifetime limit.

The legislation follows SB 50 and 51, bills introduced earlier this year that would protect insurance coverage for Pennsylvanians with preexisting conditions and protect essential health benefits for insurance policies sold in Pennsylvania, respectively.

“This legislation will send a clear message to Pennsylvanians and the nation that we value the healthcare rights provided in the Affordable Care Act,” said Sen. Santarsiero, the prime sponsor of legislation that will allow a young adult in Pennsylvania to stay on their parents’ health insurance plan until the age of 26. “Without these health insurance protections, millions of Pennsylvanians would lose coverage or be weighed down by tremendous financial obligations.”

“Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, 4.5 million Pennsylvanians had insurance plans with annual or lifetime limits,” said Senator Iovino. “If the Affordable Care Act’s prohibition on annual or lifetime limits is overturned by federal courts, without action, these Pennsylvanians would be exposed to enormous out-of-pocket expenses and the risk of bankruptcy. The financial security of Pennsylvania families depends on maintaining the prohibition on annual and lifetime insurance limits.”

“Protecting the health care rights of young adults, as mandated by the Affordable Care Act, is critical to supporting long-term, positive health outcomes in the commonwealth,” Sen. Hughes said. “We will continue to fight at the state level for all of the life-saving protections provided by the ACA, which have been instrumental in improving the lives of thousands of Pennsylvanians who now have access to health care.”

A link to Senator Santarsiero’s and Brooks’s memorandum can be found here.    

A link to Senator Iovino’s and Hughes’s memorandum can be found here.     

The 2020 ACA Open Enrollment Period starts Friday, November 1 and ends Sunday, December 15. To learn more about the enrollment period, visit the Pennsylvania Insurance Department web page.