On Oct. 1, the Affordable Care Act health exchanges debuted, with a six-month enrollment period ending on March 31. The health care law expands coverage, gives some Americans more health insurance options and improves the overall quality of health care.
For young adults and college students, it is now easier to get health insurance. Young adults can stay on their parents’ health insurance plan until they are 26 years old.
Still, young adults make up a high percentage of uninsured Americans. One key reason many Americans do not have health insurance is because of the cost.
In fact, many uninsured Americans actually pay more for health care than those who are insured. There is a financial strain on those uninsured because they pay out-of-pocket and can be billed more than those who are insured.
Lack of health care insurance has been a contributing factor to runaway health care costs. The uninsured often do not receive preventive, routine health care and are consequently more likely to be seen at hospital emergency rooms where the costs are then passed on to other consumers.
The Health Insurance Marketplace offers different health plans for different needs. People can search and compare different plans to find one that best suits their income and coverage needs. Americans now cannot be denied health insurance for pre-existing conditions. In the past, health insurance providers could deny coverage to those who were viewed as high-risk.
Policymakers and insurance professionals refer to the ratios of high and low risk members as a risk pool. The success of the Affordable Care Act depends on having more low-risk people than high-risk people.
It is vital for young, healthy people to sign up for because it offsets the cost of older members who use the benefit of insurance more frequently.
In effect, young members will be subsidizing older members’ coverage.
Coverage will take effect on the first of January 2014. Starting in 2014, if Americans do not have a form of health insurance, they may have to pay a fee that would be 1% of their income.
For more information on the Missouri Health Care Marketplace, visit:
Story by junior Emily Marchant