12 Million Young Adults to Be Insured

NEW YORK, Oct. 8 (UPI) — A non-profit group, using U.S. Census Bureau data on uninsured young adults ages 19-29, says the Affordable Care Act will make a difference to 12 million.

The Commonwealth Fund says once the Affordable Care Act completely takes effect in 2014, more than 12 million could gain subsidized health insurance or be picked up on their parents health insurance until age 26.

The report, “Realizing Health Reform’s Potential: Young Adults and the Affordable Care Act of 2010,” by researchers Sara Collins and Jennifer Nicholson, says by 2014, as many as 7.2 million uninsured young adults will gain coverage through Medicaid expansions and as many as 4.9 million will gain subsidized private coverage through new insurance exchanges.

About 1 million uninsured young adults age 26 and younger are estimated to be covered under their parents’ policies beginning this year.

The report estimates 1.8 million uninsured young adults ages 19-29 are not legal residents and will not be eligible for federally subsidized health insurance under the new law.

“When fully implemented, the Affordable Care Act will allow young adults of all income levels to undergo a new rite of passage: Establishing necessary ties with the healthcare system, without fear of accumulating medical debt, as they pursue their educational and career goals,” the researchers say.

Currently, young adults are one of the largest groups of Americans without health insurance — nearly 15 million people age 19-29 were uninsured in 2009 — an increase of more than 1 million in 2008, the researchers say.

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