What does the Affordable Care Act and 2.5 million young adults have in common?
Officials cite the influence of provision in last year's health care
Experts citing a provision in last year's health care plan, it was
revealed that more than 2.5 million adults younger than 26 have stayed
on their parents' health insurance plans. "It shows what a big
difference this is already making in Americans' lives," HHS Secretary
Kathleen Sebelius said.
Young adults have traditionally been the group least likely to have health insurance as they tend to have low-paying jobs with few benefits.
The rise in coverage for younger adults came as those between the ages of 26 and 35 remained the same. Sherry Glied, HHS assistant secretary for planning and evaluation says that shows it's "very clear" the increase for those 19 to 25 is because of the new law.
There was no increase in Medicaid coverage for adults ages 19 to 25, which means the increase in overall coverage was driven by private insurance, Glied said.
Reaching all the way back to 1997, the statistics show that more 19-to-25-year-olds are insured now than ever before, with almost 72 percent having either private or public insurance in the first half of 2011. The percentage of young adults with insurance dropped steadily from 2007 to 2010.
Ron Pollack, founding executive director of Families USA, a non-profit that works for health care for all Americans says that young adults have traditionally been the group least likely to have health insurance, said. Young adults tend to have low-paying jobs with few benefits, as well as to think they're indestructible and don't need insurance, he said.
The health care law, known as the Affordable Care Act, also ends the practice of denying children insurance because of preexisting conditions, and by the time today's 19-year-old adults reach 26, that rule will have been enacted for adults, as well, Pollack said.
Pollack said the coverage of young adults may have a secondary benefit for everybody else, specifically decreasing premium costs for everybody else.
"It helps to bring the average costs down because these young people are less likely than older adults to have a major health problem," he said.
© 2011, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Health insurance, young Americans, parents' insurance
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