Health Information Exchange Featured Article

June 21, 2012

New Healthcare Law Gives Millions of Young Adults Access to Health Insurance

The hotly controversial healthcare law known as the Affordable Care Act has made one significant advance, as a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) report released today has indicated. That advance is the 3.1 million young adults who gained access to health insurance they otherwise would not have been able to afford.

According to the HHS, an extra three million young adults brings the percentage of insured ages 19 through 25 up to a solid 75 percent. The reason for the big jump is that people in those ages formerly unable to be covered by their parents' health insurance policies are now back under those policies.

"This policy doesn't just give young adults and their families peace of mind; it also gives them freedom,” said Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the HHS. “It means 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."

An earlier report from 2011 showed similar gains, with that one showing 2.5 million individuals in the 19 to 25 age brackets set to gain coverage they would otherwise not have had through June 2011. The picture may very well end up getting brighter for those uninsured youth, as the Affordable Care Act’s full provisions kick in by 2014.

But many of the Affordable Care Act’s provisions are under fire, including a likely Supreme Court decision about the plan's centerpiece requiring all Americans to buy some kind of health insurance or face fines and penalties possibly coming in the next week or so. So just how much affect it’ll have remains to be seen.

With the U.S. entering elections in just a few months, the politics surrounding the issue will likely be ramped up to their utmost as both sides jockey for position.

The exact nature of the Affordable Care Act, following an election, Supreme Court decisions, and politicking for all will ultimately remain to be seen. While it's done some good already, some have wondered if it will eventually do more harm than good with its chilling effects on businesses.

Seeing how it all turns out will take time, and hopefully, will end well for a United States hungry for some good news for a change.

Edited by Braden Becker