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Health Care Reform and Young Adults

By HERWriter
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On September 23, an estimated 1.2 million young people up to age 26 will gain coverage through their parents' insurance plans.

According to a survey by the Affordable Health Insurance at the Commonwealth Fund (a private organization that focuses on health policy), adults ages 19 to 29 are the largest group of uninsured Americans yet they are least expensive to cover.

The survey claims that more than 75 percent of young adults surveyed were forgoing care because of the cost. Those who did seek treatment paid twice as much as people with insurance. In paying for care, 31 percent said they had postponed education or career plans to pay health-care bills and about half asked their parents for assistance.

As far as purchasing health insurance, it's almost out of the question for this age group.

Many young adults think they are healthy so they go without health insurance. But on the flip side, this group has higher risks for accidents.

Also, there might be several reasons for the lack of health insurance among younger adults. Many are just starting their careers. Their jobs might not offer insurance benefits and they don't yet make enough money to purchase insurance on their own. Young people might also be willing to take more risks with their health.

Most of the time, health insurance isn't a priority in a young adult's expenses. Also, their combined monthly expenses alone cost less than a monthly health-insurance plan.

Since young people make up nearly a third of all uninsured, the new law is a positive step for this age group.

Under the health-care reform law signed in March by President Barack Obama, all new health-insurance plans must offer extended dependent coverage. Some already existing policies will not have to offer extended dependent coverage but by 2014 all providers will offer dependent coverage.

New government regulations that go into effect Sept. 23 will allow young adults up to age 26 to join their parents' health-insurance plan. With extended dependent coverage, parents have the option of adding their adult child with little changes to their annual premium.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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