Navigation Links
Health Reform Should Provide Insurance to Many Young Adults

Some provisions start in September and will make coverage more affordable, easier to get, report says

FRIDAY, May 21 (HealthDay News) -- Most of the 13.7 million younger Americans who currently lack health insurance could gain coverage under the health reform package signed into law by President Barack Obama in March, a new report from The Commonwealth Fund says.

Starting in September, many uninsured young adults up to 26 years of age will be eligible to remain on their parents' insurance plans, as the initial provisions of the Affordable Care Act start to take effect, the report noted.

"We have entered into a new era in American health care," Cathy Schoen, the Commonwealth Fund's senior vice president for research and evaluation, said during a Thursday teleconference to discuss the report, Rite of Passage: Young Adults and the Affordable Care Act of 2010.

When the law is fully enacted in 2014, an estimated 32 million Americans who currently lack health insurance will have access to coverage, Schoen said. "And," she added, "millions of under-insured will be protected against high medical costs and debt, and access to care will improve."

Since 2003, the Commonwealth Fund -- a private foundation that seeks to promote high-quality health care for all -- has issued an annual report on trends in health insurance among young adults 19 to 29, Sara Collins, the Commonwealth Fund's vice president for affordable health insurance, said during the teleconference.

"Every year the results have shown increasing numbers of young adults who are uninsured for all or part of the year and have ended up skipping medical care or struggling with medical debt," Collins said.

In 2008, an estimated 13.7 million young adults were without health insurance, which is about 30 percent of all uninsured people under 65, Collins said. And in 2009, 76 percent of uninsured younger adults did not get needed health care because of cost, she said.

Forty-six percent of uninsured younger adults with a chronic health condition said their health had gotten worse as a result of not getting care, according to the report.

Many insured and uninsured younger adults had medical debts and about half had asked their parents for financial help. Also, many had to drop out of school and fall behind on other debts like school loans, Collins said.

Collins explained that, in the recent past, many young adults lost their insurance coverage when they "aged out" of their parents' policies after graduating from high school or college. And, lower-income children lost Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance when they turned 19.

"The Affordable Care Act is in many ways a graduation gift to many young adults, bringing sweeping change to their health insurance coverage over the next two years," Collins said.

Annual premiums for younger adults are expected to average about $3,300, and if these costs are spread across all family insurance policies then premiums are expected to rise less than 1 percent by 2011, Collins said.

In addition, young adults who buy their own insurance will benefit from reforms in the new law that ban lifetime limits on benefits and prevent health insurers from canceling coverage if a person gets sick, she said.

In 2014, there will be a substantial expansion of Medicaid, making it available to nearly everyone at or near the poverty level, Collins said. The expansion is particularly important because 52 percent of uninsured young adults are from families with incomes that will make them eligible for Medicaid under the new law, according to the report.

"The benefits to young adults of the Affordable Care Act cannot be understated," Collins said. "The reforms will not only make coverage more affordable, but also more comprehensive and secure, allowing young adults to start families and pursue careers without worrying about losing their health insurance or falling into medical debt," she said.

Dr. Judy Schaechter, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, called the Affordable Care Act an important step in expanding access to health care for young adults.

"I am thrilled because it addresses our patient population in transition," she said. When they lose their Medicaid or SCHIP [State Children's Health Insurance Program] coverage they "fall off the cliff," she said.

Schaechter said it's common for former patients who lose their insurance to contact her, looking for care. "The most painful is [when] it happens for kids with complex health care needs -- children with heart defects and bad asthma -- and they have nothing," she said.

But not everyone thinks the Affordable Care Act solves the problem of access to care and affordable health insurance.

Dr. Don McCanne, a senior health policy fellow at Physicians for a National Health Program, said that "although the Affordable Care Act uses various programs to expand coverage for young adults, it is a disappointment because it fails to accomplish two of the most important goals of reform."

McCanne's preference would be a single-payer, government-administered program that, he said, would offer equitable coverage to all Americans.

A fragmented system of private plans and public programs, such as those in the Affordable Care Act, is the most expensive model of reform, and it falls short of universality and equity, he said.

"The single-payer model, on the other hand, is the least-expensive model of comprehensive reform, and it automatically enrolls everyone, while containing costs through proven, government-administered single-payer policies. It is equitably financed through the tax system based on the ability to pay, so it is affordable to everyone," he said.

More information

To read the full report, visit the Commonwealth Fund.

SOURCES: Judy Schaechter, M.D., associate professor, pediatrics, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; Don McCanne, M.D., senior health policy fellow, Physicians for a National Health Program, Chicago; May 20, 2010, teleconference with Cathy Schoen, senior vice president for research and evaluation, and Sara Collins, vice president for affordable health insurance, both with The Commonwealth Fund, New York City; May 21, 2010, Commonwealth Fund report, Rite of Passage: Young Adults and the Affordable Care Act of 2010

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Physical Therapist, Money Launderer and Patient Recruiter Plead Guilty in Connection With Multiple Detroit Health Care Fraud Schemes
2. Happy Feet are Healthy Feet: Common Sense Tips on Taking Care of Your Feet to Survive the Holiday Season
3. Smoking Ban Good Step Toward a Healthier Michigan, Says Blue Cross
4. Kaiser Permanente Gives $5 Million to Childrens Healthcare of Atlanta
5. UPMC Health Plan Offers Brain Fitness Software to Improve Health
6. MassMutual Recognized as One of Americas Healthiest Companies
7. New IAVA Report Reveals Red Tape Facing Veterans in the Military and VA Health Care and Disability Systems
8. Informatics experts contribute to special Health Affairs edition on e-health in the developing world
9. Connecture, Inc. Launches New Technology Package to Increase Health Insurance Carriers' Success in the Online Individual Market
10. National Oncologist Group Warns: Current Health Care Reform Legislation Woefully Short In Addressing Cancer Care Crisis
11. Designs for Health Expands into New Corporate Headquarters
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Consistent with ... the 2016 Building Better Radiology Marketing Programs meeting will showcase some ... March 6, 2016, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas with a pre-conference session ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... A simply groundbreaking television ... an interesting show that delves into an array of issues that are presently affecting ... benefit from open dialogue, this show is changing the subjects consumers focus on, one ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... Bangalore, Karnataka (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 ... ... the world, Health-E-minds, an innovative online platform for mental health and wellness consultation, ... KleverKid. , This partnership will bridge the knowledge gap experienced by parents and ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... The men and ... nonprofit healthcare organizations in the country. They have overseen financial turnarounds, shown commitment ... advance the healthcare industry as a whole through their advocacy and professional efforts. ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... San Francisco, California (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... 1969 Janis Joplin Ann Arbor Michigan boxing style concert posters. This is one of ... 1969 at the Canterbury House at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 27, 2015 ... --> Medical alert ... system (PERS) market is expected ... years with APAC being the ... see a high CAGR between ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... Carolina , 26 november 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... (AAIPharma/CML) kondigt de geplande investering aan van ... van de laboratoria en het mondiale hoofdkantoor ... De uitbreiding zal resulteren in extra kantoorruimte ... voldaan aan de groeiende behoeften van de ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 ... nieuwe aanpak combineert immunotherapie met Bremachlorin-photodynamische therapie ... ) --> ... (Photo: ) ... Medisch Centrum (LUMC) blijkt ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: