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How Health Reform Will Help Young Adults

Young men and women between the ages of 19 and 29 are among the groups struggling the most to get the health care they need, a new Commonwealth Fund study affirms. Their plight demonstrates that the Affordable Care Act reforms are needed more than ever to make comprehensive, affordable health insurance coverage available to young adults. In 2010, 45 percent of young adults couldn't afford the care they needed, meaning they didn't fill a prescription, didn’t go to the doctor when they were sick, or skipped a test, treatment, or follow-up visit.

The new health reform law is already making a difference for young adults, according to the Fund's study. Early reports by five national insurance carriers indicate more than 600,000 young adults have obtained new insurance coverage since a key reform provision allowing them to stay on their parents' health insurance until age 26 went into effect in 2010. And that number is certain to climb through the summer as young adults graduate from high school and college and more employers open enrollment to this age group.

You can also view and download the charts or read a related blog by The Commonwealth Fund's Sara Collins.

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