Understanding Obamacare: Young Adults Win Big

This article was originally featured in the Sept 11, 2013 edition of the Shepherd Express in Milwaukee

Question: I’ve heard that Obamacare has some benefits for young people like me. What are they?

Answer: The Affordable Care Act has good news for young adults: You can stay on your parent’s insurance coverage. Young adults often go without coverage. In fact, 35% of adults between the ages of 19 and 25 had no health care coverage before the law passed. Some of it is a general mindset of invincibility, the belief that “It can’t happen to me.” But there is another hard reality at work. Entry-level jobs frequently do not offer the level of benefits they did 10, 20 or 30 years ago.

To fix this problem, the Affordable Care Act has required that insurance companies allow young adults to stay on their parent’s policy until the age of 26. Now an estimated 6.6 million young adults can confidently enjoy the assurance of being able to stay on their parent’s coverage even if they are out of school, even if they are employed and even if they live in a different state than their mom or dad.

This protection is in place now, but starting on Oct. 1 young adults can purchase new coverage options that will protect them from being discriminated against because of age, gender or preexisting conditions. Young and healthy adults won’t stay young and healthy forever, but they too deserve the protection of an insurance marketplace that treats them fairly. The Affordable Care Act guarantees that. It’s good to finally have someone on our side.

—Kevin Kane, Citizen Action of Wisconsin

The Shepherd Express and Citizen Action of Wisconsin will answer questions about the Affordable Care Act in the weeks leading up to its implementation. Got a question? Email [email protected].

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