As a 24 year old, and recent college graduate, I remember the conversations –friends worrying about getting a good job right out of college, let alone one with health benefits. These were not usually things we young people had to worry about, we were healthy, we hardly used our health insurance. But what if we were to get sick – was the cost worth the risk?
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), conversations on campuses across the country are changing. Young people now have security in knowing that in this tough economy, even if it takes a while to get a job after graduation, we will not be without health insurance coverage. This means freedom and security. In our lives, freedom and security means quite a lot right now. [WhiteHouse.gov, Fact Sheet: The Six Month Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, 9/22/10]
Already, 1.2 million young adults have health coverage because they are allowed to stay on their parents plan. This is not the only benefit we young adults are seeing from the Affordable Care Act – though it is probably most widely felt and appreciated. We will not have to worry about our children being denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition, or having our plan dropped when we need it the most. We will be able to chose our own doctor, and receive free preventative care services, allowing us to live a long and healthy life. We will live our own lives, making informed choices about our health care – not at the mercy of insurance companies.
Emily Gordon, a soon to be college graduate and intern at the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health, talks about the benefits of the provision allowing young adults to stay on their parents insurance until 26 years old here.
Young adults are realizing the benefits of health care reform in our lives. We will be the ones to protect and strengthen this law, and move it forward.
Written by Sara Eskrich of Madison, WI