Young people could still face some challenges with health insurance coverage
One of the primary tenets of the Affordable Care Act is to make health insurance coverage more available to a wider range of consumers throughout the U.S. Part of this goal is meant to be accomplished by making young adults more eligible for health insurance coverage that they need. The health care law has, thus far, made it easier for these people to receive such coverage by allowing them to stay on the health insurance plans of their parents until the age of 26. This sole provision has enabled some 3 million young adults to remain insured.
Affordable Care Act may make coverage more available but not ensure its value
Next year, the Affordable Care Act will become fully enacted, introducing more changes to the health insurance sector and new regulations that are meant to govern health care. Supporters of the controversial law claim that it will provide young consumers with more options when it comes to health insurance coverage. A new study from the Employee Benefit Research Institute, however, claims that the law will not solve all of the coverage problems that young people may face in the future.
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Study suggests coverage benefits may not be generous for young adults
According to the study, while young consumers will have more options in the health insurance markets, there are not provisions of the Affordable Care Act that ensure what kinds of coverage will be available to them. The law prohibits insurers from denying coverage to those with pre-existing medical conditions, but it does not stop insurers from limiting the coverage that their policies offer to these consumers. The federal law also does not prohibit insurers from charging more for coverage or forcing young consumers to pay higher deductibles for their policies.
Young people may not have any incentive to purchase health insurance plans
The study suggests that health insurance is likely to become more available to young people, but that many may not be inclined to purchase coverage because of the limited nature of many of the policies that will be available to them. While federal law will make health insurance coverage mandatory, young, healthy consumers may have no reasonable incentive to purchase and maintain coverage.