Reform helps working young adults receive affordable, accessible, high-quality healthcare. Here’s how:
- Increase Age of Dependents to 26:
Reform allows those under the age of 26 to be covered by their parent’s insurance. Working young adults are eligible to receive this insurance, and do not have to worry about buying their own insurance. However, if you employer offers you insurance, you are no longer eligible to stay on your parent’s plan. Individual states have increased this age past 26.
Click here for a list of the policies of individual states.
- Medicaid Expansion:
Medicaid is a program, run by the federal and state governments, that provides medical care for low-income individuals. To be eligible for Medicaid currently, you have to be within a certain percentage of the federal poverty level ($10,800). Under the health reform law, this will expand to 133% of the federal poverty level, which works out to $14,400 per person or $29,270 for a family of four. This means that if you make less than $14,400, you will be eligible for Medicaid. This is very important for young adults, because we typically have low entry-level salaries. Medicaid expansion keeps us covered even under tough economic circumstances.
- Online Insurance Exchange Markets:
Similar to Orbitz or Expedia, the law creates online exchange marketplaces in which consumers can shop around for cheaper, more competitive insurance. The insurance plans will be labeled as “bronze,” “silver,” “gold,” and “platinum,” based on their price and the benefits they provide.
- Small Business Tax Credits:
Small businesses with less than 100 employees will be able to use these markets, and if businesses have less than 25 employees, they will receive tax credits for providing insurance from these markets to their employees. Young adults are more likely to work in a small business. Thus, by giving these incentives to provide affordable insurance to businesses, young adults will be offered insurance from their workplaces.
- Exchange market subsidies:
Individuals will also be able to use these exchange markets. In fact, they get a little extra help in the form of subsidies on a sliding scale. It works like this:
If you make over $14,400 per year (and can’t enroll in Medicaid) you can get subsidies until 400% of the federal poverty level. This works out to $43,000 per year for individuals and $88,200 for a family of four. So, if you make between $14,400 and $43,000, you can get a little extra money to help buy insurance. How much of a subsidy will you receive?
The amount that you will have to pay in premiums will vary from a sliding scale from 2% to 9.5% of income. This means that if you make just over $14,400, you will pay 2% of your income on insurance premiums every year. The amount of the subsidy will be the difference between the cost between the silver plan and 2% of your income. So, for example, if your income is $14,401, 2% of your income is $290. The silver plan costs $3,000 per year. The subsidy you receive is $2710 towards insurance – a huge amount. The will cover 90.3% of the cost of your insurance premium for the year!
If you make $42,200 or just under 400% of federal poverty level, you will have to pay at most 9.5% of your income on premiums, which is $3,990. If the silver plan costs $4,200 in this state, you will receive $210 subsidy!