For starters, as of September 2010, young adults can remain on their parents’ health insurance up to age 26, even if they are married. For the individual ‘child’ this may save money. Perhaps use of expensive, often uncompensated, emergency room care will decrease if these men and women are covered through insurance. It does seem likely, however, that the cost of the parents’ health insurance will increase. It goes without saying that these services cannot be provided for free.
The mandated date for this insurance plan to go into effect was September 23, 2010, although some insurance plans have already made the change. If you are a young adult and have not reached your 26th birthday, or if you have children ages 18 through 25 who are uninsured, check now to see about adding them to your plan. I cannot say now what the cost ramifications are, but if this increases your monthly premium considerably, you may also want to check into a high deductible insurance plan for your child in conjunction with a health savings account. The cost of such a plan may be less, and the money contributed to a health savings account can be used for items insurance does not typically cover, such as dental expenses or vision care.
Secondly, over 6 million currently uninsured young adults are projected to become eligible for Medicaid as of 2014 according to income guidelines in the new law, with an additional 3+ million qualifying for health insurance premium subsidies. Again, the individual health consumer may benefit, but these costs will be passed on to the taxpaying citizen, at an unknown cost.
As new areas of the health care reform act are implemented, stay tuned for updates. Personally, I believe insurance costs will escalate, so save while you can, at least until taxes escalate to make up for the savings.
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