A new study published in Health Affairs last week finds that young adults aged 19-25 have experienced significant gains in health insurance access since the passage of the ACA. The law, which allows young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance plans until the age of 26, is estimated to have increased health insurance coverage to over 3 million young adults in its first year alone.
So, this is not entirely news to us, as we have known for some time that young adults have been coming out in droves to sign up for their parents’ health insurance. But, the Health Affairs study dug a little deeper by using data from two nationally representative surveys to compare health insurance status and health care access for young adults 19-25 with those aged 26-34 between 2005 and 2011 (remember, this provision of the ACA went into effect in 2010). Researchers found that overall, the largest gains in insurance were made by unmarried adults, men, and nonstudents. It also found that the number of young adults who delayed getting health care and those who did not receive care because they couldn’t afford it has gone down significantly since the passage of the new law.
Young adults in the 19-25 age group have historically had the lowest rate of insurance coverage out of all of the age groups. However, the passage of the ACA seems to have stymied this trend by bumping up the rate of insurance coverage and access for this group so that it now more closely resembles that of other adults in older age categories.
So, in a nutshell - the ACA is working!
The article is titled “The Affordable Care Act Has Led to Significant Gains in Health Insurance And Access To Care For Young Adults” and can be found on the Health Affairs website by clicking here.