The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: How Does it Help Adolescents and Young Adults?

The health care reform law enacted in 2010 is an ambitious and complex piece of legislation. The requirements of PPACA are scheduled to be phased in over a period of several years. If successful, the law will result in an increase of 32 million additional insured individuals in the United States, many of whom will be adolescents and young adults. In addition to the expansion of health insurance coverage, the potential for young people to access comprehensive benefits, especially preventive services, is a key aspect of the new law. The law also provides for significant new protections for individuals covered by private health insurance, for extensive investments in prevention and wellness, and for measures designed to meet the needs of some of the most vulnerable young people, such as those aging out of foster care and young adults living in poverty.

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