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After age 18, asthma care deteriorates
Date:4/21/2013

>They found that while adolescents under age 18 were more likely to utilize primary care and preventive measures, young adults over age 18 were more likely to use the emergency room and have problems accessing medical care and medications because of cost. Losing insurance explained 32 percent of the decline in use of primary care and 47 to 61 percent of the increase in cost-related access problems.

Under the federal Affordable Care Act health reform law, young people whose parents have private insurance will be eligible to remain covered on their parents' policies until they are 26. The news is not so good for many low-income young people whose parents may be uninsured or receive public assistance. Since the Supreme Court ruled that the ACA could not require states to expand their Medicaid coverage, many states have decided not to expand coverage, and one of the key groups that will likely be left out is low-income young adults.

"We may continue to see particularly poor asthma care for many young adults in states that don't expand their Medicaid programs," McWilliams said.

But increasing insurance coverage alone is not the answer, the researchers said. Health professionals who provide care for children and adolescents with chronic illnesses like asthma have to think about patients who are aging out of their practice, the researchers said.

"Young people with asthma need to work with their care providers to create transition plans from pediatric to adult care that take into account their medical and social history," Chua said.


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Contact: David Cameron
david_cameron@hms.harvard.edu
617-432-0441
Harvard Medical School
Source:Eurekalert

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