Recent insurance industry figures show that more Americans are receiving health insurance coverage than in previous years. This may be due, at least in part, to the Affordable Care Act, which has pushed many insurance companies to offer more affordable policies. In the first quarter of 2011, insurance companies around the nation were reporting that 600,000 Americans obtained some form of health coverage. The majority of these people were under the age of 26, showing that younger people are finding access to the coverage they need.
The amount of young people being able to find coverage is due to the provisions of the health care reform law. Because of the new law, they are able to stay insured under their parent’s plans for longer. Their youth also means that they are less likely to require expensive medical treatments, keeping the cost of insurance from jumping unexpectedly.
Health insurance companies all over the nation have reported record profits from the first quarter. While the broadening of the market has driven down the overall cost of insurance, the massive influx of consumers has proven lucrative for insurers.
Despite what would seem to be initial success, many Republicans still oppose the federal health care reform. This has led many Republican legislators to propose laws that would allow consumers to purchase insurance coverage beyond state borders. Most notably, Representative Frank Pallone of New Jersey has thrown his support behind the Health Care Choice Act.
The Health Care Choice Act is a federal legislation that would allow consumers to purchase insurance anywhere within the U.S., regardless of their place of residence. While supporters of the bill suggest that such a plan would drive insurance costs to an all time low, opponents say that it will put consumers at risk as the market would be flooded with diluted policies offering stripped-down protections.
The fate of the bill is unclear as it continues through the legislative process. It has already garnered a fair amount of support from Republicans looking for an alternative to the Affordable Care Act.