For the next twenty days, as we celebrate the second anniversary of the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Supreme Court begins oral arguments on the health reform law, we will be bringing you stories, statistics and resources on how the ACA has and will benefit the health of Latinas, their families and their communities.
First in our series is a discussion of the new rules allowing adult children to stay on their parent’s plan until the age of 26.
On September 23, 2010, six months after the ACA was signed into law, one of its more popular provisions went into effect: a rule requiring all insurance plans that cover one’s dependents to cover that dependent until the age of 26.
This provision has already had an enormous impact on securing coverage for young people. Young adults will qualify for this coverage even if they are not living with their parents, not listed as dependents on their parent’s tax forms, or no longer a student. Both married and unmarried young adults qualify, although coverage is not extended to the dependent’s spouse or child.
Plans will comply with this rule on the beginning of the first “plan year” on or after September 23, 2010.
The law also ensures quality control for this new coverage: health insurance plans for the newly eligible dependents will contain the same benefits packages offered to other dependents who were covered before the change. These dependents will also not be charged more for coverage.
How has this provision made a difference in our communities? On March 7th, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that 1.3 million young adults of color have benefited from this change. And of those, 736,000 were young Latino adults!
What does this all mean?
- This is great news as expanding access to health insurance is one important step on the path to securing meaningful access to affordable and quality health care for all.
- Considering that employers continue to play a large role in providing health insurance, the Great Recession hit Latinos disproportionately hard and young Latinos face unique challenges to meaningful employment, extending health insurance access to young adults is of critical importance.
- Additionally, and we will definitely talk more about this, but as health care reform is further implemented, young Latina adults will get more from their insurance coverage. For example, the rule requiring insurance plans to fully cover (without co-pay) a whole range of women’s preventive services, including contraception, will make health insurance more meaningful for young Latina adults.
Continue to check us out this month for more 20 DAYS OF ACA!