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How the Affordable Care Act Helps Young Adults

In 2014, when all of the Affordable Care Act provisions are fully implemented, an estimated 13 million young adults could gain health insurance coverage, most of it subsidized Some of the provisions in the Affordable Care Act that will help young adults include:

* Starting in 2010, young adults can remain on or join their parents’ health insurance if it includes dependent coverage until age 26. An estimated 1.7 million young adults will become covered under par¬ents’ policies by 2013.

* Starting in 2012, college health plans will have to follow most of the same rules that private individual market health plans now face under the Affordable Care Act—eliminating lifetime coverage limits and rescissions and phasing out annual limits, though at a slower rate than private plans. As a result, the estimated 1.6 million young adults enrolled in health plans offered by colleges and university will be better protected by their health insurance.

* Starting in 2014, Medicaid will cover all adults with incomes below 133 percent of the federal poverty level—$14,404 for a single person—expanding coverage to an estimated 7.2 million uninsured young adults.

* Starting in 2014, state health insurance exchanges will offer comprehensive private health insurance with an essential benefit package that will include maternity benefits with subsidies to help low and moderate income young adults afford health insurance, expanding coverage to 4.9 million young adults who would qualify for the subsidies. Insurance companies will be banned from charging higher premiums on the basis of health or gender.

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