As the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) reaches its two-year anniversary in March 2012, NAHIC and the Center for Adolescent Health & the Law (CAHL) have partnered to examine the law’s effect on young adults in this 4-page brief. In December 2011, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services announced that, as a result of initial implementation of the ACA, 2.5 million more young adults ages 19 to 25 have health insurance than would have been covered without the ACA. This represents a major step forward for an age group that has lagged behind adolescents and older adults in having coverage. This age group also experiences a wide variety of health concerns, often more severe than those affecting adolescents. In addition to expanding access to private insurance for young adults, the ACA contains important provisions that will expand Medicaid eligibility for this age group and improve access to preventive services. The issue brief discusses these gains and challenges in ensuring access to quality health care for all young adults.
Additional background on young adult coverage in the ACA can be found in a summary brief published by CAHL and NAHIC in August of 2010: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: How Does it Help Adolescents and Young Adults?
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March 22, 2012
Abigail English, JD, Center for Adolescent Health & the Law & M. Jane Park, MPH, NAHIC, UC San Francisco
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