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The Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act

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Executive Summary
This brief summarizes the extension of dependant coverage to adult children up to age 26. With little restrictions adult children may remain on their parent’s insurance until the age of 26. While this policy greatly eases the strain of starting a career in the current economic environment, does it truly benefit the young adult cohort? This brief examines the impact on the college graduate specifically. A thorough epidemiologic study needs to be undertaken to evaluate the effects the policy has on the cohort. More affordable insurance plans tailored for young adults with a focus on prevention could also help the cohort make the transition from college to career. There are pros and cons to each option. A thorough
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Background The extension of dependant coverage mandates that group plans and any individual plan that covers dependants must cover adult children regardless of the child’s martial status, enrollment in higher education, or eligibility for an employer plan (Healthcare.gov). The adult child does not even have to live with the parents or be claimed as a dependant on the parent’s tax returns. This coverage lasts until the child is 26 years old. Previously, many plans had stopped coverage at “19 or upon college graduation” (Goldman, 2013).
Starting in the late 2000’s, the downed economy had job growth at record lows and the prospects for recent graduates were not good, though things have started to look up (Coffey, 2015). However, with or without job prospects, in 2013 seven out of ten college graduates had an average of $28,400 in student loan debt (Institute for College Access and Success, 2013). This burden on young adults makes even the thought of affording health insurance a pipe dream. Within the first year of the ACA, the young adult cohort was 30% more likely to be on their parents insurance and the rates of uninsured individuals had fallen five percentage points (Goldman, 2013).

Concerns The dependant extension was widely trumpeted as a success of the ACA. Young college graduates start out in their careers in a much different way
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