Group Health Insurance Dallas Still Used to Insure Young Adults

Dallas, TEXAS, APR 11, 2015 – Perhaps an overlooked statistic, although important nonetheless, the facts pointing to the higher rate of wealthy uninsured in the young adult category since the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act. Previously, young adults had to fend for themselves after ages 18 or 21, but a provision within the act allowed young adults to remain on their parent’s plans until age 26 which helped insure many low-income and middle-income young adults, according to a new study.

Just released this past Monday, a second report in the Journal Health Affairs, indicated that the young adult populations was still most likely to not be insured as compared with the rest of the general population. This statistic remains troubling for the segment labeled ‘The Invincible’ after the Act has been in effect for several years now.

“Until now,” said Stacey McMorrow, an Urban Institute researcher and co-author of the report, “Young Adults have been recorded as having an astonishingly high proportion of uninsured.”  Statistics point to a large drop-off more recently.

Prior to the passage of the Affordable Car Act in 2009, statistics showed that 30% of those in the 19-25 age range were recorded as uninsured. This dropped to 19% by June 2014, the closure of the first year of Affordable Care Act private insurance plan open enrollment period. By early 2015, the uninsured pool for the entire American population was down to 12.3 percent.

This particular study indicates the massive decline in young adult uninsured’s depended entirely on income. Most of these young adults have previously depended on group health insurance for coverage, especially in red states and cities such as Dallas, Texas.

Within the higher income brackets, from 2010 to 2013, young adults registered a decrease in their uninsured rates disproportionately. This was directly tied to the Affordable Care Act provision allowing those under age 26 to remain on parental health plans.

During the 2010-2013 time frame, according to the report, for those earning just four times the poverty level, the uninsured rate fell from 15.7 to just 6.1 percent. Even for those who earned as much as 139 to as high as 400 percent, a substantial drop was recorded, although proportionately less, perhaps due to less earning in that income bracket over all. That drop fell to 26.4 from 37 percent.

However, with new provisions which were rolled out in 2014,  the in between income bracket saw a reduction in uninsured rates in the 19-26 age group, especially in states which worked with the federal program to expand Medicaid to include most poor adults. Non-expansion states did not experience such results. Although numbers were also reduced through the launches of government-run insurance exchanges as states began selling health plans subsidized under the new provisions.

“Low-income young adults are much less likely to have parents with accessible private health plans therefore restricting their ability to stay on such a plan until age 26,” she said.

“However,” she continued, “higher-income young adults would be ineligible for things such as Medicaid or subsidies on Affordable Care Act private insurance exchanges, as they are likely to earn too much to qualify for either program. Approximately 400,000 more people between the ages of 18 and 25 purchased Affordable Care Act plans in 2015. While that number is higher than in years previous, it is unknown how many of those were uninsured prior.”

Nearly 50 percent of currently uninsured young adults have been shown to have incomes 138 percent below that of the national poverty level, making them eligible for the expanded Medicaid program in states where that expansion was completed. Statistically, however, it has been found that about 60 percent of the 19-26 age group uninsured actually live in one of the 22 non-Medicaid program expansion states.

The conclusion could then be inferred that if those states expanded their Medicaid programs, more young adults would be insured. The Affordable Care Act penalty for failing to have health coverage could also drive down the rate. The penalty, which is determined as the higher of $325 or 2 percent of one’s taxable household income for tax year 2014, rises to $695 per adult, or 2.5 percent of household income, in 2016.

For more information, visit Insurance4Dallas.

Insurance4Dallas, (I4D) helps insure all of Texas and provides consumers with detailed information and the ability to apply for insurance online. I4D provides a full spectrum of health, dental, vision, life and other ancillary insurance products providing a diverse selection of price and benefit options complemented by personable customer service. Available via phone, email or fax, Insurance4Dallas answers consumer questions throughout the purchasing process and utilization of the health insurance policy.

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