A new, slightly secret Illinois law extends my childhood and warns me to hold off on tying the knot.
Before this law was enacted, many Illinois college graduates like me were thrown off their parents’ health insurance plans as soon as they threw their caps in the air, praying they’d find a job with good benefits. But now, effective June 1, 2009, Illinois young adults will be eligible for coverage under their parents’ policies until the age of 26.
To help promote this new law (and to poke fun at it a bit, too), here are three blog entries on this topic for the price of one.
1. All the single ladies!
The new Illinois law is only applicable to young adults who are not married.
Thank you, State of Illinois, for planning out my family life for the next four years. Finally, an excuse to be single!
In a tight-knit community like mine, where everybody knows everybody’s business, I’m being asked more and more often when I’m getting married. Well, okay, I’m pretty clearly not in a long-term relationship, so I don’t get asked it that much – but some of my family members and friends do. This law has come to the rescue for them.
“When are you getting married?”
“Not until we’re at least 26 – my parents’ insurance plan covers dental!”
All the single ladies getting insured until you’re 26, put your hands up!
2. But if I did want to get married…
Of course, that time still may come for me – possibly even in the next few years. Maybe when Prince Charming finally stops and asks for directions to find me, it will time to begin that chapter in my life.
But not without meeting certain requirements.
If I willingly go off my parents’ insurance plan, Charm, you better be worth it.
For young, single girls like me who might not necessarily get insurance through their jobs, the new law could completely change the conversation on a first date.
“Where are you from?” and “What’s your family like?” will be replaced with “What’s the deductible?” and “How does your plan deal with pre-existing conditions?”
Would you like a bite of my dulce de leche cheesecake, and oh, does your insurance policy cover well child care?
I’m sorry, Prince, you look like a great person and there might even be a spark, but I just can’t afford to date you right now. It could lead to marriage, and that would have to wait until I’m 26.
3. Four more years of childhood
I thought my childhood ended when my family dismantled the swingset and clubhouse in the backyard.
Or maybe it ended when my parents waved goodbye on my first day of college. Or when I had my first job interview. Or when I took my last final exam of college.
But alas, I am still a child.
At least until I’m 26.
As long as I’m a dependent on my parents’ plan, I guess I can still order from the kids menu.
Laundry at home? No problem! Borrow some money? Take what you need! And while we’re at it, why don’t we take a family trip to Disneyland!
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not complaining about this new law. In fact, it’s probably the best thing the Illinois government has done recently (though that’s not saying much).
Illinois, on behalf of all the other recent college grads in my situation, thank you for this law. I hope that the state and the country will continue to provide decent coverage for our age group and older. Because whether our first employers are gracious enough to provide with a good benefit package or we decide to become self-starting entrepreneurs, we still need to pay for contact lenses.
Because, really – who wants to grow up and plan a wedding anyway?