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Health Care Reform:

Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act

Voter Guide: Coverage for Young Adults

The Issue:

Young adults are among the most likely to not have health insurance. One out of 10 people without health insurance are ages 19 to 29, almost twice the rate as among people ages 30 to 64.

High costs are a big reason for that. Young people are often looking for work or starting their careers and are more likely to have lower incomes. Because they are also more likely to work for small businesses or work part-time, they often can't get health benefits through their jobs.

Not having health insurance can be expensive. Nearly half of those who are uninsured say they’ve had problems with medical bills. Almost 4 in 10 carried medical debt.

Proposals:

Staying on Parents’ Health Plan

The Affordable Care Act lets families keep adult children without access to their own coverage on their health plans until age 26.  So far, about 3 million young adults have received health insurance benefits because of this provision.

More young adults are now insured. Uninsurance rates for Americans ages 19-25  dropped by 2.2% between 2010 and 2011 due to the law allowing parents to keep them on their health plan, according to the Census Bureau.

Coverage Through New Insurance Markets

Starting Jan. 1, 2014, young adults who do not have access to health benefits through their job can buy a plan through health insurance markets being created in each state as a requirement of the health reform law.

Repeal the Affordable Care Act

If the Affordable Care Act is repealed, it is not clear if parents would still be able to keep young adults on their policies. The provision has proven popular and several insurance companies have said they would keep it, no matter what happens to the law.

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