Affordable Care Act Summary: Millennial Uninsured Rate Significantly Drops Since Obamacare Implementation; 4.5 Million Young Adults Gained Coverage Since 2010
Citing the benefits of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the White House stated the rate of uninsured youths declined by more than 40 percent.
According to White House, 4.5 million millennials, especially people between the ages of 19 and 25 years old, have gained health insurance. The Council of Economic Advisers' (CEA) Chairman Jason Furman and CEA senior economist Matt Fiedler said the 4.5 million additional people with health insurance dates back to the first time the ACA's provisions went into effect in 2010. The CEA's data stated nearly one-third of the 19- to 25-year-old age group had lacked health coverage in 2009, which was twice the rate compared to overall Americans.
"But the nation has since made dramatic progress in expanding coverage among young adults, thanks to the Affordable Care Act's provision allowing young adults to remain on a parent's plan through age 26 and its broader expansion of coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplaces and Medicaid," wrote Fiedler and Furman.
Despite the gains, Fiedler and Furman acknowledged approximately one in five young adults are still uninsured. The remaining uninsured millennials, however, are still eligible for financial assistance through either the federal-or-state-based health insurance marketplace and from Medicaid.
Prior to the ACA's implementation, the Obama administration recognized young adults were less likely to qualify for health insurance, namely Medicare and Medicaid, than children and seniors. Among all age groups, the millennial demographic included the largest uninsured rate. Based on 2009 figures, 32.7 percent of adults between 19 and 25 years old were uninsured, which is more than twice the 15.4 percent national uninsured rate average.
"This landscape left many young adults with few affordable, accessible options. Some could seek coverage under a parents' plan, but non-students and older students frequently were not eligible for dependent coverage," wrote Fiedler and Furman in a joint report. "Others could seek to purchase coverage on the individual market, but such coverage was often unaffordable or outright unavailable before the Affordable Care Act, particularly for individuals with pre-existing health conditions."
Since the ACA went in effect, millennials are allowed to stay on their parents' health insurance plan until they turned 26. The ACA also provided states with the option to expand Medicaid programs in addition to federal assistance for eligible individuals. With the expansion, more youths have gained health coverage.
"In total, from the four quarters preceding the [ACA's] dependent coverage expansion through the second quarter of 2014, the uninsured rate for young adults has fallen by 14.8 percentage points, a reduction of more than 40 percent that translates into 4.5 million additional young adults with health insurance coverage," wrote Furman and Fiedler. "These gains have eliminated more than two-thirds of the gap in uninsured rates between young adults and other non-elderly adults, even as other non-elderly adults also experienced large coverage gains during 2014."
As Latin Post reported, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) revealed 9.5 million Americans, overall and across the country, have selected or were automatically enrolled into health coverage during the current second open enrollment period, which started on Nov. 15, 2014. The second open enrollment period concludes on Feb. 15.
"We're pleased that, nationwide, 9.5 million people are signed up for Marketplace coverage. The vast majority are able to lower their costs even further by getting tax credits, making a difference in the lives of so many families," HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell said, noting 87 percent of the plan selections have financial assistance.
Based on Gallup polling data, the fourth quarter of 2014 saw an average of 12.9 percent of American adults uninsured. Since the ACA went in effect in 2013, the uninsured rate fell by 4.2 percent, specifically from 17.1 percent during the fourth quarter of 2013.
For the latest updates, follow Latin Post's Michael Oleaga on Twitter: @EditorMikeO or contact via email: email@example.com.
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