By now, you’ve probably heard about Obamacare, the 2010 healthcare law that was slowly phased in the past few years and will be, in full force beginning January 1, 2014. But, for young adults, you may be asking, “how will Obamacare affect me?” The answer will vary depending on the individual. Obamacare, or the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, is being implemented to allow more Americans to have access to affordable, quality health insurance.
One of the key provisions of the Affordable Care act that has been in place since 2010 is the one that allows young adults to stay on their parents insurance plans until they are 26, whether they are full time students or not. This ensures that more young adults, who historically have had little or no healthcare, have access to health care while they are finishing school, or looking for full time jobs.
Another provision of Obamacare forbids insurance companies from denying healthcare coverage if you have a preexisting condition. This is important, because eventually you will need to find your own insurance policy. Without Obamacare, it would be difficult to find a policy that would accept a preexisting condition, especially at an affordable price.
Obamacare is also attempting to lower the price of insurance policies for individuals. So if your company does not offer insurance you will be able to purchase your own at a more affordable price. In some cases, you may qualify for federal subsidies to help pay for the cost of your insurance Nonetheless, some young adults may not be able to afford their own insurance policy. Because Obamacare expands public health insurance (Medicaid) for certain states, young adults could be covered by the state until they can afford their own policy.
So what’s the problem? It all sounds fine and dandy to me… Well for the most part that’s right. Although, there is concern that Obamacare could leave some young adults without insurance, particularly if the state has opted out of Medicaid expansion. These young adults are responsible for getting their own insurance. The Affordable Care Act is especially controversial, because it is requiring everyone to have insurance. If you are not covered by the year 2014 you will have to pay a penalty every year until you get coverage.
All in all, Obamacare should make it easier for young adults to have access to healthcare. The young adults who cannot afford it on their own, are not covered by their parents, or do not have access to Medicaid may be hurt by Obamacare because they are required to get insurance or pay a penalty.
Only time will tell if Obamacare will be successful. But what cannot be disputed is that there are benefits to the law that will help young adults have access to health insurance.
For more information on Obamacare, please visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/healthreform.