Why should young adults be covered by their parents' health care insurance until age 26?

A law requiring insurance companies to allow young adults up to age 26 to stay covered under their parents' health care insurance is taken as a given. It was one of the first things that Republicans said they would keep when they replace Obamacare with their own plan. Polls confirm that it is one of the most popular provisions that Americans want to keep in any new national health care plan.

But why?

young-adultsLet's stop a minute and ask why young adults, no matter their dependency or marital state should be covered under their parents' health insurance policy. Yes, under Obamacare, and presumably under whatever the GOP comes up with will continue the same policy that according to the Health and Human Services Department allow young adults to  join or remain on their parents policy even if they are:

  • Married
  • Not living with their parents
  • Attending school
  • Not financially dependent on their parents
  • Eligible to enroll in their employer’s plan

Are young adults so destitute they deserve special treatment? Maybe; young adults on average have lower average income. Sort of like older Americans whose income starts to fall off. The American Medical Association goes even further, urging that young adults be allowed to stay on the parents' policy until age 28.

I don't know what this special break for young Americans costs. Nor do I know whether helping young Americans as a group should be a higher priority than helping the middle class or other Americans as a group. I don't know why special consideration should be given to young adults who are employed and who can enroll in their employers' plans.

Maybe it's a discussion that we should have.

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  • Maybe the point is that it is not FREE medical insurance. If junior is employed, mommy is not going to pay for it. On the other hand, if the 25 year old is Tommy from Mary Worth, either mommy pays for his insurance or rehab, or Medi-Cal does.

    Besides that, except for Tommy and his ilk, that assures the impoverished insurance companies a pool of low expense clients.

    What you should be asking is what Rand Paul is asking--why, without any assurance that this will be the most tremendous improvement in health insurance history, is the House plan giving out refundable tax credits when one of the things abhorred about the ACA (which apparently is still to be called the ACA) was subsidies for those who bought on the exchange under a certain income level. Another question you should ask is why the only thing being eliminated is the tax penalty, and also why the hated Cadillac tax isn't being repealed, just postponed. The Tea Party doesn't want any health insurance, but apparently the mainstream (if there is such a thing) Republicans do.

  • In reply to jack:

    The benefits of ACA are a double edged sword. The coverage is not comparable, and the assistance only comes at the lowest costing policies with the least benefit (translate that as the minimum provided under the ACA) Those folks receiving these low cost policies are still subject to high deductibles and co-payments before any real benefits are meted out. Those qualifying for Medicaid based upon income need to read the fine print incredibly closely. They can have assests taken from them if they utilize the Medicaid benefits. For the first time in history, it is possible to be a homeowner and receive Medicaid based upon income, but it is also true that leins can be placed against the home for the monies expended for treatment. (it is buried in the fine print and not talked about unless a client were to know enough to ask the specific questions) And even with subsidies, you can be called upon to pay back what you received....the aid is based upon tax information from last year and projecting for next year...if your income exceeds what the tax information that you filed, you will be asked to give that subsidy back, and for families that are low enough income wise to qualify....where are they supposed to get the money to pay back? Not to mention losing some or all of the subsidy and having to absorb a higher premium as well as the deductibles and co-payments.

  • In reply to Sue Fitzpatrick:

    ...and the Ryancare proposal, which I predicted 3 weeks 4 days ago would blow up, did, would have solved this problem how???

    In fact, the small print you mention is quite normal. It gets down to whether Medicaid is universal health care or welfare. In this regard, it is welfare.

  • Why should young adults be covered by their parents' health care insurance until age 26? Why not?

    For one thing, just because they can be covered until age 26, doesn't mean they will choose or need to. But what if your parents have better insurance than you can get? why wouldn't you want your kids to enjoy a benefit at a lower cost?

    Being married doesn't mean you automatically have insurance or good insurance. Or maybe one spouse will stay at home with kids and their parent has better better insurance than the spouse.

    or maybe you don't live with your parents and you just lose your job. If my kids lose their job I want them covered while they are looking for a new one.

    Attending school -- student given insurance at universities, even ones with their own hospital, is pathetic

    Not financially dependent on their parents -- again, so what?
    Eligible to enroll in their employer’s plan -- again what if their employer plan sucks?

    all of these can be summed up as being able to choose the best option one can afford, even if that help comes from your parents, assuming they are wiling.

  • In reply to Michael Messinger:

    You do realize that parents who have grown children are often also coping with the needs of aging parents and relatives at the same time. Not to mention, trying to put extra resources aside for their upcoming retirement years....You are extending the period of dependency for young people who should be learning that life is about priorities. What their parents have achieved is not something that they were handed coming out of school or job training, but rather took many years to develop. Too many young people consider themselves impoverished if they don't have the quarter of a million dollar home or the new car in the driveway along with the yearly vacations.....things that their parents may not have had for many years. Yes, they should have viable options, but has already been noted, their biggest asset is their age and the fact that they have years to establish themselves and achieve. They will receive better treatment in terms of healthcare coverage costs because of their age. It may not be cheaper for Mom and Dad, because even if healthy, as Mom and Dad age, the premiums go up dramatically, because statistically, they are more likely to develop illness and costly illness that may be long term.

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