Matthew Holt

Obama-cares (if you’re under 26)

CDC data just in, reported by Jonathan Cohn at THR, suggests that the impact of allowing young people to stay on their parent’s insurance (or as Michael Cannon would say, forcing employers to cover dependents up to the age of 26) is having a big impact. Up to 2.5 million adults under the age of 26 have moved into coverage. Frankly I’m not surprised. There’s always been a huge group of uninsured young adults moving between high school and college and the workforce. And if you hadn’t noticed, there’s a recession on and good jobs with insurance are hard to find. I know at least three young adults working in the semi-contingent labor force who are on their parents’ insurance. Of course they’d better hope they don’t turn 26 before 2014. But even this little gain is something the Democrats need to punch home about the Republicans: Those bastards want to take your kid’s insurance away! And they do.

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Categories: Matthew Holt

3 replies »

  1. I am the parent of a teenager who, without the ACA, is one of the “automatic denials” for individual healthcare coverage. You can see a list of diagnoses that typically make a person uninsurable here — search for “High-Risk Pool Definition of Pre-Existing Conditions”:

    http://www.healthcare.gov/law/resources/reports/preexisting.html

    This is because my son was diagnosed with something bad at the age of 13–kind of the opposite of the “Young Invincibles”. His only option for healthcare coverage, without the ACA, is a high-risk pool or whatever he can get through employment, when he is old enough, and presuming his medical situation even allows him to be employed at that point. So you can bet we are strong supporters of the ACA.

    Helen, it’s very difficult to compare insurance costs without knowing the whole background on the person being insured. Pre-existing health status has a lot to do with what you’re able to get a policy for as well as what the policy *covers*. For example, college health plans targeting the healthy young adult are extremely cheap, but typically awful policies for a teenager who is going to college with a chronic illness and requires a lot of outpatient services (as opposed to inpatient services).

    The New York Times had a good piece you can find here which references young adults with differing kinds of healthcare needs and the kind of money it can mean —

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/22/us/young-adults-make-gains-in-health-insurance-coverage.html

  2. The options regarding how to handle those first entering (or trying to enter) the workforce puzzles me. Just last weekend I heard a (50-something) friend that is between jobs lament about the cost of health insurance-both her own health insurance and the cost of insurance for her children (both of which are in their 20s and both of which are employed, but not in jobs that include health benefits so their mother currently pays for their insurance). A few years ago, I moved to New York City after living in Europe for several years at the age of 28 and without a job. I was convinced I wouldn’t be able to afford health insurance but then learned I could get a 90-day policy from BCBS in the state of my permanent address (MN) for less than $100. I bought this policy and though I did have a deductible, it did the trick. When I was still in only a temp position after 90 days I freaked out again, sure I could never afford health insurance now that I was no longer eligible for the temporary policy. This was when I learned that for $70 per month, I could get comprehensive insurance through Empire Blue in New York. Did I just luck out with my states (MN and NY)-are there no similar options elsewhere? or is $70 per month considered too high for young people? or is the problem that the policies of a couple years ago are no longer available? It seems that parents pay much more than I did to insure children of a similar age and I wonder if this is necessary (or if people are convinced-as I once was-that they can’t afford health insurance and therefore don’t explore the options).

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