The great recession has been a challenging time for all Virginians, but especially those entering the workforce for the first time. Whether getting a job after high school, college or graduate school, there has been more competition for fewer jobs. What is usually an exciting time for young people starting their adult lives has become scary and challenging. Even more so for those who have health issues - whether new or or ongoing.
Thankfully the Affordable Care Act became law two years ago this week and it is already working for young people.
More below the fold.
Nearly 2.5 million Americans and more than 60,000 Virginians now have health care coverage because they are able to stay on their parents employer provided health insurance through age 26. It doesn't matter if they are single, married, employed or unemployed - young adults have better access to health care because of the ACA. And parents are especially happy that although they can ensure their adult children have health care, their children do not have to live at home keep it.
Health care access will also be easier for young people whose parents don't have health care and all adults. Starting in 2014:
- You'll be able to buy insurance from the same place that members of Congress will get their health plans, through an Affordable Insurance Exchange.
- If your income is less than $43,000, you'll get tax credits to help pay for insurance.
And the ACA doesn't just help young adults, it helps children too:
- Insurance companies are already not allowed to deny coverage to children under age 19 based on a pre-existing condition. Starting in 2014, they won't be allowed to deny it to anyone.
- Insurance companies can no longer impose lifetimes limits on health care benefits.
- Preventative services will now be free, encouraging early treatment and detection. For kids, that means vaccinations and well-child visits won't cost parents out-of-pocket. For young adults, that means blood pressure screenings, diabetes tests, cancer screenings and counseling on healthy lifestyles will help individuals stay healthier and catch illness earlier.
The ACA ensures that health care works for all Americans. We must protect it.