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.
Let'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:
- 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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