HHS Report Finds Affordable ACA Coverage Options for Young Adults
Nearly half of all U.S. young adults ages 18 to 34 might be able to purchase health coverage through the Affordable Care Act's exchanges for $50 or less per month, according to a report released Monday by HHS, the Washington Times reports (Howell, Washington Times, 10/28).
The report analyzed data on exchange rates in 34 states with federally run and state-operated exchanges. It found that about 1.3 million unmarried young adults, or about 46% who are eligible for coverage through an exchange, could purchase a bronze plan for $50 or less per month after federal subsidies are deducted. In total, about 1.9 million young adults, or 66% of those eligible, could pay $100 or less per month for coverage (CQ HealthBeat, 10/28).
According to The Hill's "Healthwatch," such consumers have access to low-cost coverage under the ACA because of the availability of low-cost plans on the exchanges and the federal subsidies available to individuals with certain incomes. Meanwhile, some states' decision to expand Medicaid has increased young adults' access to less-costly coverage. About one million young adults could qualify for Medicaid, according to the report (Viebeck, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 10/28).
HHS has said it hopes that at least 2.7 million young adults -- or about 39% of the seven million target for total enrollment -- sign up for coverage in order to help offset higher costs incurred by older, sicker individuals (California Healthline, 10/16).
Obama Urges Young Adults To Purchase Coverage
In an interview on Fusion on Monday, President Obama touted the report and said young adults should purchase coverage even if they feel they do not need it. He said, "This is a good investment for young people, and you know when you look at the number of who actually want health insurance, but are having trouble affording it, that fact we are making it affordable for them … (is) a big deal."
He also warned young adults against feeling "invincibl[e]," and noted the importance of having access to affordable medical coverage, citing personal examples of "unexpected illnesses or accidents" he endured as a young adult ("Healthwatch," The Hill, 10/28).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.