Monday, June 25, 2012

HHS claims 3 million young adults covered due to ACA

A report released last week by the Department of Health and Human Services says that 3.1 million young adults have gained health insurance because of the Affordable Care Act. As a result of the health care law, the proportion of insured adults ages 19 through 25 has increased to nearly 75 percent.

The ACA requires insurers to allow young adults to remain on their parents' family plans until their 26th birthday, even if they move away from home or graduate from school.

"Because of the health care law, more than 3 million more young adults have health insurance," said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a press release. "This policy doesn't just give young adults and their families peace of mind, it also gives them freedom. It means that as they begin their careers, they will be free to make choices based on what they want to do, not on where they can get health insurance."

A similar report released in December 2011 showed that 2.5 million young adults who would otherwise have been uninsured had gained coverage through June 2011. Using the most recent information on insurance coverage from the National Health Interview Survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, the latest report shows that from September 2010 to December 2011 the percentage of adults ages 19 through 25 with insurance coverage increased from 64.4 percent to 74.8 percent. That translates to 3.1 million young adults with coverage.

A recent private report found the number of  young adults newly insured as a result of the law to be even higher. In any event, analysts expect the young adult dependent coverage option to remain a feature of many private plans, regardless of the nature of the Supreme Court's ruling on the health care law.


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