At least 600,000 young adults stay on parents’ health plans

At least 600,000 young adults have taken advantage of a provision in the federal health reform law that allows them to maintain coverage under their parents’ health plans until age 26, according to a survey of insurers by Kaiser Health News.

The number of people taking advantage of the provision appears to be growing more quickly than anticipated, according to Aaron Smith, executive director of the Young Invincibles, a Washington-based nonprofit group that advocates for young adults.

While federal officials and consumer advocates are pleased that more 20-somethings are being covered, some employers are worried about the cost.

“I don’t think anyone is eager to spend more money,” said Helen Darling, CEO of the National Business Group on Health, which represents more than 300 large employers. “This is not something employers would have done on their own.”