May 5, 2011: The Kaiser Family Foundation is reporting that more than 600,000 young adults have joined their parents’ health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provision that expands dependent coverage eligibility to age 26. This is according to information provided by some of the country’s largest insurers, including WellPoint, Aetna, Kaiser Permanente, Highmark Inc., Health Care Service Corp., Blue Shield of California, and United Healthcare.
The U.S. Health and Human Services Department had predicted that approximately 1.2 million young adults would take advantage of expanded dependent eligibility in 2011, but some say this could be a low estimate based on early insurer reports.
|The dependent coverage provision of the ACA is intended to decrease the disproportionately high uninsurance rate among young adults, who are more likely to be uninsured than individuals in any other age group. SHARE grantee Joel Cantor is currently studying how the ACA’s dependent coverage provisions affect insurance coverage among young adults as the provisions are phased in, with early findings to be released soon. Click here to view findings from Joel’s previous SHARE research, which looked at state-level dependent coverage expansions.|