In previous years, once a child reached the age of 18 years, depending on state laws and insurance company rules, they typically found aged-out of their parents insurance coverage. In many cases, the only way to stay on their parent’s health insurance policy, was to be actively enrolled in school. Now, with the advent of the Affordable Care Act, this will change drastically. In creating the Affordable Care Act, studies found that many young adults between the ages of 18-25 years did not have health insurance as a result of both aging out of their parent’s policy and the preventative high costs of getting insurance for themselves. In response to the studies’ results, the Affordable Care Act Now makes provisions for young adults in an unprecedented way:
- Any young adult between the ages of 18-25 may remain on their parent’s insurance policy as a dependent. No matter if the dependent is living with their parent, attending school. The dependent may also be single or legally married.
If it isn’t possible for a young adult to stay on their parents insurance policy, the Affordable Care Act will make it easier and less expensive for young adults to find health insurance coverage through the following:
- Any individual – regardless of age – who is unemployed or has a limited income of up to $15,000 per year for a single person will qualify for Medicaid. Couples and families with children will find the income requirements higher.
- Beginning October 1, 2013 persons of all ages will be able to purchase affordable and qualified health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Insurance purchased through this plan will go into effect as of January 1, 2014 and will include, at no out-of-pocket cost, ambulatory patient services; emergency services; hospitalization; maternity and newborn care; mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment; prescription drugs; rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices; laboratory services; preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management; and pediatric services, including oral and vision care.
- Beginning January 2014, Tax credits will be available for any single tax filer with an income of $43,000 or less and is not offered health insurance through their employer.
It’s important that all young adults know about the Individual Mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act. This states that as of January 1, 2014 Everyone – without exception – must be covered by a private or public health insurance. Your choices are as follows:
- Stay on – or get back on – your parents policy
- Apply for Medicaid if your income level is below the requirements
- Apply for Medicare if you qualify. (See eligibility on the Medicare Page)
- Purchase insurance on your own through the Health Care Marketplace
- Purchase insurance through your employer.