Attention New York Divorce Lawyers: Learn Insurance Law

New York Law Journal, October 4, 2023 ●

Alan R. Feigenbaum and Marilyn T. Sugarman* ●

By a show of hands, how many matrimonial lawyers practicing in the state of New York have heard of the “Age 29 Law”? Anybody? We didn’t think so. Neither of these authors had ever heard of it either.

All of that changed, however, on July 27, 2023, when the Appellate Division, First Department, issued its decision in B.D. v. E.D., 2023 NY Slip Op. 03971.

Before exploring the facts of B.D. v. E.D., we must understand, as best we can, the contours of the Age 29 Law which was enacted almost 15 years ago.

As we are living in a time where, sadly, reading has become passé, rather than dig into the annals of insurance law texts, we elected to find out what the Age 29 Law is through—what else—a Google search.

In order to obtain health insurance coverage under a parent’s policy pursuant to the Age 29 Law (L 2009, ch 240) the “young adult” must satisfy certain criteria: (1) be unmarried; (2) be 29 years of age or under; (3) not be insured by or eligible for comprehensive health insurance through his/her employer; and, (4) live, work or reside in New York State or the geographic area of the health insurance company’s service. In addition, the parent must be covered under the applicable policy, or, pursuant to a right under COBRA or state continuation coverage law. We note that the “young adult” does not have to reside with either parent, be financially dependent on either parent, or be a student.

At issue in B.D. was the mother’s 2022 motion to direct the father to pay for continued medical insurance coverage under the Age 29 Law for the parties’ then 26-year-old daughter until she turned 29. At the trial court level, the Honorable Ariel D. Chesler denied the mother’s motion, and the mother appealed.

Read more on our website.

*Marilyn T. Sugarman serves as special counsel at The Mandel Law Firm.