Young adults benefit from ACA

July 29, 2014

Dayton Daily News, 7/29/2014

As the famous line goes, “If you build it, they will come.” So we learned recently when findings were released from a new Commonwealth Fund survey. The Affordable Care Act is in fact working to help young adults secure affordable, quality health care. The survey found the uninsured rate for young adults aged 19-34 has dropped from 28 percent to 18 percent with an estimated 5.7 million fewer young adults uninsured. This jaw dropping decline in the uninsured rate is the greatest of any age group.

This is great news because it means young Ohioans are taking advantage of the new health care options available to them. As a father of four, I know firsthand the peace of mind that comes with knowing you and your children have insurance and don’t have to worry about whether or not you can afford necessary care when needed. Unfortunately for many, this is not always the case, and before the Affordable Care Act, this was especially true for young adults. Conventional wisdom suggested young adults may be the hardest to convince, but the numbers tell a different story. The law is extending access to health care for a demographic that traditionally had higher uninsured rates.

Through the online Marketplace, young people are taking responsibility for their health security and comparing their new options. Moreover, young Ohioans can now stay on their parents plan until they turn 26. That can be extended until 28 if they are single, an Ohio resident or full-time student, not eligible through insurance through their employer, and not eligible for Medicaid. Even though open enrollment has ended, students that are losing access to student health plans or moving off their parents’ health coverage are eligible to enroll through the Health Insurance Marketplace during a special enrollment period within 60 from the day they’re scheduled to lose coverage — which provides even greater flexibility at a formative point in early careers.

The fact is young people are more likely to have other life changing events that trigger a special enrollment period like moving or having a baby. Nearly 25 percent of Americans between the ages of 20-29 have moved — more than twice the national average, and around 83 percent of all babies born in the United States have mothers between the ages of 18 and 34.

Having more health care options is especially important for young people who are often more likely to be without coverage. In fact, 34 percent of young adults between the ages of 18 to 39 years old are uninsured at some point during the year….

Even though we have come a long way, there is still a lot of work to do to make sure young Ohioans know their new health care options. That’s why the Get Covered America campaign is not slowing down our outreach efforts in Ohio. We are gearing up for the next open enrollment beginning Nov. 15, and letting Ohioans know there is no deadline to enroll in Medicaid or CHIP and many young adults may qualify for a special enrollment period….

It’s clear the first year of the Health Insurance Marketplace was a success, and we want to make the uninsured rate among young adults and all Ohioans continues to drop.


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