The Affordable Care Act and the Uninsured
A recent article in US News and World Report documents the decline in the number of young adults without health care coverage in the United States. Some statistics from the article show that 27% of young adults between the ages of 19 and 25 had no health care coverage in 2012, down 8% from 2010 when more than 35% were uninsured.
The article also notes an increase in young adults covered by a private health plan. The respective statistics show an increase from 49% in 2010 to 58% in 2012. This increase can be attributed to a provision in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that enables young adults to remain on their parents' health insurance plans until they reach the age of 26.
While that is a positive update for the insured marketplace, the flip-side is that the uninsured marketplace is made up of 45.5 million people without health care coverage. Even worse, of these 45.5 million people, we find that 4.9 million are children under the age of 18
A review of the same statistics shows that the percentage remained the same from 2010 to 2012, at 27% percent, for uninsured adults between the ages of 26 to 35.
Again, we must review the Affordable Care Act to see if there is hope on the horizon for this percentage of the population. The hope we should take into consideration is that most of the major provisions of the ACA go into effect in 2014. One of these provisions to note is both the opening of the health insurance exchanges and a major expansion of Medicaid.
With these provisions, the population should continue seeing a reduction in the uninsured population across all age groups.
In addition, the article discussed how 50% of the population who had private health insurance not offered through their employer, were enrolled in a high-deductible health insurance plan.
Some good news on this front includes protection against high deductibles and copayments, particularly for low-income families, from the ACA. With the upcoming provisions in 2014, we may see some help from the ACA regarding out-of-pocket costs.
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