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Hawaii House-Senate committee backs health care reform conformity bill

Posted On: May. 3, 2011 12:00 AM CST

HONOLULU—A Hawaii House-Senate conference committee has agreed on compromise legislation that would enable employers to offer coverage to employees' adult children up to age 26, as they are required to do under federal law, without employees being taxed on the coverage.

The measure, H.B. 1089, which is expected to receive final approval by Hawaii lawmakers this week, would make Hawaii tax law conform with the federal health care reform law.

The federal law requires such an extension of coverage to employees' children up to age 26, and subsequent Internal Revenue Service rules said the coverage can be extended on a tax-free basis through the end of the year in which the child turns 26.

Hawaii's action last week followed about a dozen other states, including California, that passed conformity bills in recent months.

Most states, though, do not have to take such action, because their statutes automatically are amended to reflect changes in federal tax law.