Young American adults are among those who most need health insurance reform:
A new report released today from the non-partisan Commonwealth Fund estimates the vast majority of uninsured young adults (around 13.7 million) could gain affordable health insurance coverage as a result of the Affordable Care Act–great news for the most uninsured age group. The report says:
The law's provision requiring health insurers to extend dependent coverage up to age 26 for young adults on their parents' plans will go into effect in September 2010, and could provide coverage to 1.2 million young adults next year. Many insurers are implementing this provision early, filling in the coverage gap for many new college graduates.
Newly-created insurance exchanges and lower premiums for lower- and moderate-income families beginning in 2014 could provide coverage for more than 6 million uninsured young adults.
Additionally, new insurance regulations, an essential benefits package, and limits on cost-sharing will ensure young adults have comprehensive health insurance that protects them from high out-of-pocket costs.
Other provisions, including expanding Medicaid eligibility, would provide health coverage to millions more young adults.
The Affordable Care Act will protect young adults from medical debt–the Act's elimination of lifetime limits on health insurance coverage, effective later this year, could go a long way to helping young adults who purchase health insurance on the individual market, or through their college or university, avoid medical debt in the event of a serious injury or illness.
PREVENTIVE CARE FOR BETTER HEALTH
Offers free preventive care to all people insured under new plans, and invests in public health to create a system that prevents illness and disease instead of just treating it when it's too late and costs more. Simple prevention can stop a small health problem from getting worse.
INSURANCE INDUSTRY REFORMS THAT SAVE YOU MONEY
This year, reform eliminates lifetime limits on how much insurance companies cover if you get sick, and tightly restricts yearly limits. Starting in 2014, reform puts a cap on what insurance companies can force you to pay in co-pays and deductibles. In 2014, reform bans “gender rating” that allows women to be charged more for the same coverage, and bans new group plans from establishing eligibility requirements that have the effect of discriminating in favor of higher wage employees–who tend not be younger workers.
SECURITY AND STABILITY
EXTENDED HEALTH COVERAGE THROUGH PARENTS
Allows you to stay on your parents' health care plans until your 26th birthday. (Between now and 2014, this provision applies to a young person only if their employer doesn't offer them coverage. Beginning in 2014, the provision applies to all young people, even if their employer offers them coverage.) This will help to cover the one in three young adults who are uninsured.
HEALTH CARE NOT TIED TO A JOB
Offers affordable health insurance to those without job-based coverage, starting in 2014, and provides substantial premium assistance to those who still can't afford it. Young adults are just starting jobs and careers, and often don't have access to job-based coverage. Even when they do, they often don't have the money to spend on health insurance–or must endure a waiting period as a new employee.
HEALTH CARE WHEN YOU NEED IT MOST
If you become sick, you can no longer be dropped from your plan (starting this year). If you have a “pre-existing condition,” beginning in 2014, you can no longer be denied coverage or charged higher rates–and between now and 2014, you can enter an interim high-risk pool to get insurance.
ONE-STOP SHOPPING AND COMPETITION
Creates Health Insurance Exchanges for those who don't get insurance through their employer, so you can gain the benefits of group purchasing power like big businesses have for more affordable plans with better benefits. These Exchanges allow you to simply and easily compare prices and health plans and decide which option is right for you. It's your choice.
INSURANCE SECURITY AS YOU BEGIN YOUR CAREER
Guarantees choices of quality, affordable health insurance. The typical young adult frequently changes jobs, moves, or holds part-time or temporary jobs. Under reform, it doesn't matter.