Sara R. Collins, Jennifer L. Nicholson
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act includes several provisions that promise to stem the rapidly rising tide of uninsured young adults, one of the largest uninsured segments of the population. These include the ability to enroll in a parent’s health plan up to age 26, beginning in September 2010; significant expansion in eligibility for Medicaid, beginning in 2014; and the creation of health insurance exchanges with subsidized private insurance for people with low and moderate incomes, also beginning in 2014. Of the 14.8 million uninsured young adults, up to 12.1 million may gain subsidized insurance once all the law’s provisions go into effect in 2014: 7.2 million may gain coverage under Medicaid and 4.9 million may gain subsidized private coverage through the insurance exchanges. In addition, about 1 million uninsured young adults are expected to join their parents’ policies over the next three years.