More young adults obtaining health insurance
The first signs are emerging about whether President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act does what he says it will do.
Nearly 1 million young adults gained health care coverage in the first quarter of 2011, according to the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Federal officials say the increase in coverage of 19- to 25-year-olds is a direct result of the provision in the health care reform law that allows children to remain on their parents’ health insurance plans until age 26. This provision went into effect in September 2010.
“As a mom, I know how scary it is to think about what could happen to your kids if they go without health care coverage, which is what makes (this) news so important,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a conference call. “Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, hundreds of thousands more young people have the health care coverage they need.”
These results are similar to data from other sources.
A Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index survey showed the rate of insured adults age 18 to 25 rose 4.1 percent from the first quarter of 2010 to the first quarter of 2011. And earlier this year, the Census Bureau reported that an additional 393,000 adults age 19 to 25 picked up health insurance in 2010 compared with 2009.
Elizabeth Wilson, who lives near Indianapolis, told The Associated Press that when she turned 23, her mother’s health insurance plan dropped her when she was in the hospital for treatment of an inflamed pancreas. Thanks to federal health care reform, Wilson has been able to get back on her mother’s health insurance policy.
“It means I don’t have to spend every penny I make to get health care,” said Wilson, now 24. “I can use some of it to further my studies or buy food.”