Access to medical attention for young adults has always been a concern within the health system. Very few were able to obtain a health insurance coverage, representing an increasingly alarming figure that raised the Nation to design a Medical Care program that would include more flexible conditions.
In 2009, the US Department of Health’s figures showed that more than 1,500,000 young adults did not have health insurance. It represented more than twice the rate of the Americans, in general. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act that offers plans that allow parents to provide insurance coverage to their children under 26 years old, there has been a positive progress in the health coverage for young adults. It has also shown a direct impact in the improvement of life and financial security, thus generating long term benefits for our economy.
The government’s goal to lower the rate of uninsured people in the country began to show its results by the end of 2014 with it registered a reduction of more than 40% of the rate by reaching an approximate 4,500,000 additional young adults with health coverage. This has contributed to registering the lowest rate in the history of uninsured people in the Nation.
Despite the efforts made so far, there still remain one in five young adults without insurance coverage, even though most of them are eligible to receive financial assistance to obtain coverage through the health markets or Medicaid. This call is for all of you who are still uninsured. You can visit HealthCare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596 before February 15, 2015. Before the Affordable Care Act, young adults faced particular challenges to obtain a health insurance.
The employer can insure citizens able to work. Nevertheless, it does not occur in the majority of the cases because they work on a freelance basis or part-time. Some other young adults between 19 and 26 years old are still studying full time at colleges or in areas where there are no possibilities of a health insurance, or there are older citizens with more probabilities to be insured. Historically, young adults were less prone than children and the elderly to have a right to any insurance coverage through the public programs like Medicare y Medicaid.
From 2009, 32.7% of young adults between 19 and 25 years old had no insurance, more than twice of the uninsured 15.4% of the population in its totality, in accordance with the registered statistics of the US Department of Health and Human Services.
The Affordable Care Act has greatly expanded insurance options available to young adults. Since September 2010, the law allowed young people to stay in the health insurance plan of their parents until 26 years old. After the change, the rate of uninsured among young adults aged 19-25 (the age group affected by the expansion) fell sharply, even though the rate of uninsured non-elderly adults and others remained basically flat.
Several economic factors show that having health insurance improves access to health care, financial security and health. In particular, the expansion reduces the likelihood that young people have delayed or had not received health care because of its cost in the past 12 months. A finding illustrates the strong reduction of this measure when comparing young adults from 19-25 years old with older adults. Research has concluded that this expansion increased the capacity of young adults to receive hospital and mental health care, while possibly reducing the use of emergency services. Likewise, an increase in the proportion of young adults with excellent mental and physical health was also detected, while it will reduce the exposure of these young people to direct spending from their own budgets.
Before the Act, young adults depended on the jobs that offered them health insurance for themselves and
their family. It limited their decision to select a job that would really fit their professional career and their life plans. This is a phenomenon known as “job lock” and has serious consequences for workers, particularly for the young ones in their career and financial security.