According to www.healthreform.gov, approximately 30 percent of young adults are uninsured. This catastrophic number is expected to fall when The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is enforced. The new health care bill President Obama signed into law this past March, effective in the next six months, will benefit college-aged young adults in many ways.
The most significant change The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will make concerning college aged students is the ability to stay on a parents’ health insurance plan – if considered a dependent – until age 26. According to USA Today a young adult under 26 may stay on their parents’ plan regardless of whether they are married, employed, a student or graduate, or live separate from his or her parents. This is a large and greatly beneficial change as previously insurance companies only allowed young adults to be included on a parents’ health insurance policy up to a certain age, usually between 19 and 24 years.
Another gigantic change to the health insurance field is the ability to deny coverage on the grounds of a pre-existing condition has been removed and deemed illegal by the new legislation. This opens a large door for anyone who has been diagnosed with a pre-existing condition, from cancer to asthma, and denied health insurance for this reason. By the year 2014 insurance carriers will no longer be able to deny adults coverage for a pre-existing condition and even sooner for children. Additional changes to the health insurance realm will include free preventive care such as diet, exercise, and nutrition counseling as well as immunizations and special screenings. These free services will greatly benefit students, especially the immunizations that will help protect students as they move from classroom to classroom, interacting with hundreds of fellow students a day.
The government recognizes many families do not have health insurance because they can not afford it and will be subsidizing insurance plans to those who earn less than the Federal Poverty Line. The cut off is currently 133 to 400 percent of annual income an individual earns, or about $14,000 to $43,000.
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