Staying healthy is worth a lot, at any age

Posted December, 16 2011 by arianne

It seems like for a while there all the talk was about the so-called “young invincibles” – a free-wheeling breed of thrill-seeking young adults who have no desire for comprehensive health insurance, but rather prefer more risky alternatives such as health savings accounts or a pack of Hello Kitty band-aids and some strong whiskey.

And yes, young adults below the age of 30 really are more likely to be uninsured.  But, is that really because young people suffer from a mass delusion that makes them not want health security? Or could it be the lack of affordable options, the depressed job market, and the decline in employer-sponsored plans that could account for these high rates of uninsurance?

Turns out it’s the latter.  This week the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that approximately 2.5 million young adults gained health insurance in the past year since the dependent coverage expansion up to age 26 took effect under the Affordable Care Act.  That’s a whole lot of young people!

Now all of a sudden, the talk of young invincibles is nowhere to be found.  Instead, the media has been flooded with stories of young people around the country who have jumped to sign up for coverage under their parents’ plans and who can now rest easy knowing their health needs will be taken care of.

The video featured above comes from the Campaign for Better Healthcare, out of Illinois.  It highlights interviews from just a few of these young people who are benefitting from the new health reform law.

And, for many young adults, it’s not just peace of mind gained.  In some instances, it is another chance at life. Ryan Schuessler, a 24 yr. old from Wisconsin found out he had stage 4 Burkitt’s Lymphoma just as he was about to graduate from college. The treatments he needed to save his life cost over $500,000. But, because Ryan was able to get on his parent’s plan, he doesn’t have to worry about how he’s going to pay for his medical bills. He’s just happy to be alive. Click here to watch Ryan’s story.

Here are a couple more of stories below, though these are just a sampling of the more than 2.5 million personal stories out there: