Author: Sidath Viranga Panangala, Acting Section Research Manager and Specialist in Veterans Policy; Don J. Jansen, Analyst in Defense Health Care Policy
ACA requires that if a health insurance plan provides for dependent coverage of children, the plan must continue to make such coverage available for an adult child until age 26. This requirement relating to coverage of adult children took effect for the plan years beginning on or after September 23, 2010. Under ACA, both married and unmarried children qualify for this coverage. The authorizing statute for CHAMPVA currently does not conform to this ACA requirement. Furthermore, although the TRICARE authorizing statute has been amended to provide for coverage of children until age 26, the coverage provided by the new legislation differs from that required by ACA in some important ways. To address CHAMPVA’s nonconformance with ACA’s requirements, the CHAMPVA Children’s Protection Act (H.R. 288) and a similar measure (S. 325) have been introduced in the 113th Congress. This report addresses key questions concerning how ACA affects TRICARE and VA health care.