UnitedHealthcare will be offering health coverage to many graduating college students earlier than the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires.

A PPACA provision will let young adults stay on their parents’ employer-sponsored or family health plans up until age 26.

The provision will not take effect until Sept. 23, but UnitedHealthcare, a unit of UnitedHealth Group Inc., Minneapolis (NYSE:UNH), will be working to eliminate the potential coverage gap, the company says.

UnitedHealthcare will work with employers to offer the graduating children of insured group plan enrollees access to extended coverage.

The family policies sold by the company’s Golden Rule Insurance Company unit already let dependents keep their coverage until age 26, the company says.