In New York, kids have the greatest access to affordable health insurance. Those in families who earn up to 400% of the Federal Poverty Level (about $73,000 for a family of three) are eligible to enroll in Child Health Plus, a state-subsidized health care program that offers low-cost, high-quality care.
But for kids enrolling in private health insurance plans, simply being enrolled has not always been enough. Before the Affordabe Care Act (ACA), health insurance plans in New York were allowed to impose a waiting period for kids of up to a year for care relating to pre-existing conditions.
As a result of the ACA, health plans are now prohibited from imposing these waiting periods on coverage for kids with pre-existing conditions. It is estimated that 1.1 million kids with pre-existing conditions in New York are now protected because of this provision. In 2014, this protection will be extended to adults as well.
For bigger kids (over age 19) the ACA brings new options for health insurance coverage. Young adults who do not have job-based coverage are now allowed to stay on their parent’s plans until the age of 26. It is estimated that 74,600 young adults in New York could gain insurance coverage as a result of the new law. Existing New York law also states that after age 26, young adults who need to could remain on their parents’ job-based coverage through more expensive, COBRA-like benefits as well. With the state still recovering from the economic recession, this comes as an added boon to new graduates.
These new insurance protections bring a higher level of health and wellness to New York’s youth, and greater peace of mind for parents as well.
Peg, a mother of 2 from Binghamton, NY, had this to say about the ACA:
“As a parent of a 23 year-old college graduate student, I am thrilled to learn that my daughter, who will be graduating in May, will be covered by my health insurance until she is 26. I was concerned how, as an unemployed graduate, we would afford the high monthly cost of health care until she found a full-time job with benefits. This new law gives me peace of mind as a parent, knowing that she will have access to complete medical care for the next two years. Thank you, President Obama!”
Another mom we spoke to from Endwell, NY, said this:
“I am a mother of two sons under 26 – both are out of college and working, and neither have health coverage at their jobs. I have enrolled them both under my family coverage at work. Now I don’t have to worry what would happen if they were to get sick or injured. I am very thankful for the new health care benefits!”
To learn more about how the ACA is helping kids and young adults, check out the following:
- HCFANY policy brief: “Health Reform: What’s in it for kids?”
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: “Young Adults and the Affordable Care Act: Protecting Young Adults and Eliminating Burdens on Families and Businesses”
Think you or your child might be eligible for coverage under any of these new provisions or Child Health Plus? Want more information or help signing up? Community Health Advocates can help! Contact them at 1-888-614-5400 for FREE assistance with all your health insurance needs.