Implementing the Affordable Care Act for Millennials: What Can States Do? – Say Ahhh! A Children’s Health Policy Blog

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By Maya Brod, Young Invincibles

The Young Invincibles recently released a state guide
with recommendations on how to best implement provisions of health care reform
for young adults. The report, titled, “Implementing the Affordable Care Act for
Young Invincibles: A State Guide for Health Care Reform for Millennials”
identifies five major pieces of the ACA that disproportionately
impact young people, and that state policymakers can have a significant role in
implementing.  The five areas are:

o   The dependent coverage extension up to
age 26,

o   College health plan reforms,

o   Catastrophic plan offerings directed
at young adults,

o   The establishment of Exchanges,

o   The expansion of Medicaid to childless
low-income adults.

There’s no question that expanded access to a parent’s
plan, better student health insurance coverage, private insurance options that
are understandable and affordable, and public insurance that is more available
mean a huge potential for higher coverage rates for our generation.  While
about 27% of young people say they are uninsured, only about 5% of
young people are uninsured by choice: the rest say they cannot afford it, they
don’t have access to employer-sponsored coverage, or they have a pre-existing
condition.  A strong state implementation role in the five areas
identified in the report will go a long way to removing those barriers over the
next few years – indeed, with one million previously uninsured young
adults now on their parent’s plan, it already has. 

Check out the full report to find out more ways that
states can further expand youth access to health coverage!

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