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Kohl Blog: Health Coverage for Young Adults

Children can be covered under family health insurance policies until they turn 26 years old.

This spring, many families are preparing for an upcoming graduation. As you or your loved ones get ready for this momentous and exciting occasion, I want to make sure you know about changes that allow children to remain covered under family health insurance policies until they turn 26 years old.

This is essential because it can be difficult for young adults to find health insurance. Many entry level jobs don't provide health benefits, and the jobs that do offer insurance often don't provide great coverage at an affordable cost. Additionally, some young adults simply don't think about health insurance or the need for it. As a result, young adults are persistently the least likely to have health coverage of any age group. This is a problem not only for young Americans without health insurance, but also for overall health care costs because they are more likely to forego preventive services and end up in the emergency room for more expensive care that drives up expenses for all of us. 

This problem is improving. In fact, as of a year ago, roughly one-third of all young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 were uninsured. Fortunately, that percentage is steadily dropping as a result of this new benefit. Now 2.5 million more young Americans are covered by health insurance, including more than 27,000 in Wisconsin, and I want to make sure that you know the necessary details of the provision.

Children under the age of 26 qualify for this benefit even if they are married, not living at home, or not claimed as dependents for tax purposes. The provision extends to adult children whether they are enrolled full-time in school or not, and in most cases, parents can add children to their plan even if their kids are offered health coverage through their own employer. If you need additional information about health coverage for young adults—or for anyone else—I would encourage you to visit www.healthcare.gov. On this website you can also find additional information about other new protections and laws that hold health insurers accountable. For example, the new law also bans insurance companies from dropping young adults when they get sick or have an accident. And, for young adults in new plans there’s free coverage of key preventive services.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Randy1949 March 24, 2012 at 04:52 PM
@GearHead -- Candy? Really? Access to healthcare is not 'candy', and working adults wouldn't have to 'glom' onto it if employers offered it and it was available at a reasonable price that even people with an entry-level job could afford. The problem is that the whole system is corrupt -- employer-based with no obligation for employers to provide it, and insurance companies allowed to cherry-pick their customers to maximize profits and run up the cost for everyone else.
Randy1949 March 24, 2012 at 05:00 PM
@Rick -- Social Security was always a widows and orphans pension plan in addition to the 'supplement' for a retiree's pension and savings. Divorced spouses only get benefits if they have been married long enough to qualify and they are of retirement age. And in the case of multiple spouses, they share. Medicare is something different, only available since 1965, and instituted because for-profit health insurance had become too expensive for older people to afford on their own. The situation has hardly improved. I'm so glad you have a work ethic. Just understand that some people never had the option of working -- that would include the disabled from birth and retirees. We're all paying the cost of everyone's medical care through higher hospital costs and insurance premiums. We might as well make it more efficient.
Nancy Hall March 25, 2012 at 03:36 AM
@ GearHead...Nobody is "glomming" healthcare. This isn't free. My former employer and I I have to pay premiums for my kids to stay on my insurance. Once my kids are off my insurance, I will no longer be paying for family coverage and my portion of the premiums will go down about $300 a month.
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fgdf September 25, 2012 at 01:31 PM
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