Dear Fellow Coloradan,
Over the last year, I have heard from parents from across Colorado who are worried about getting medical care for their young adult children, many of whom are making the difficult transition into a shrunken job market and don't have -- or can't afford -- health insurance. As a parent of young adult children myself, I know that many families need to continue to provide health insurance coverage for their children long after they leave high school or college. During the health insurance reform debate, I vowed to work to ensure parents could keep their children on their policies until they turn 26. The health reform law signed by the President in March extended that coverage to all non-military families. And this week, I was proud to introduce a bill that would ensure military families and retirees who receive health insurance through TRICARE will be able to do so as well.
Under TRICARE -- the Department of Defense health insurance program -- military dependent children are only covered to the ages of 21, or 23 for full-time college students. Our soldiers and their families sacrifice every day to make our nation safer, and I am proud to lead a measure to help them care for their families. The TRICARE Dependent Coverage Extension Act would allow children of military parents to stay on their parents' insurance policies until the age of 26 if their employers do not provide health insurance. For a reasonable premium, we can give military families the same peace of mind as their civilian counterparts.
Health insurance reform is a critical step that will help reduce health care costs and rebuild our economy. But we have more work to do. During the last couple of weeks, while Congress was in recess, I traveled across Colorado, talking to workers and small business owners about ways we can build on our successes and create new jobs. You can read more information about those visits or watch a short video below. And I look forward to continuing to work with you to build a stronger Colorado.