CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee announced today that it will allow thousands of young members to remain covered on their parents’ policy in advance of a new federal law.

Health care reform legislation signed into law last month by President Obama would make coverage available to adult children up to age 26 for plan years beginning Sept. 23, 2010. Recognizing that this timetable could result in many young people losing their coverage prior to this date because of their age, student status, or other factors, the Tennessee Plan along with 38 other BlueCross companies has agreed to allow covered individuals under age 26 to remain on their parents’ individual health insurance policies effective June 1.

The extension of coverage will apply to fully-insured employer accounts for their employees as well as individual policyholders who cover a dependent. For currently uninsured dependents, they will be offered coverage when their parents’ health plan renews on or after Sept. 23.

“BlueCross is committed to ensuring a workable and effective implementation of the new health care reform law,” said Vicky Gregg, president and CEO of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. “By making this change in advance of the law, we can ensure that our young members are able to hold on to their coverage and access the care they need.”

About BlueCross

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee's mission is to provide its customers and communities with peace of mind through affordable solutions for health and healing, life and living. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on reinventing the health plan for its 3 million members in Tennessee and across the country. Through its integrated health management approach, BlueCross provides patient-centric products and services that drive health improvement and positively impact health care quality and value. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company's website at www.bcbst.com.