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The Blue & Gray Press | February 21, 2018

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Letter to the Editor: Affordable Care Act Extends Insurance to Students

For those of us graduating this May, life beyond college will present many new experiences, one of which may be getting health insurance. In the coming months, while some of us may be starting a first job and will likely be getting employer-provided health insurance, others might be moving back home, worrying about how to get a job and start paying back student loans. To the latter, I suggest that getting health insurance is something you won’t have to worry about.

“Why?” Well, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, young adults can get health insurance through their parents’ employer-provider health insurance plan, until age 26. When Congress drafted the ACA, they knew that health care was not a top priority for young adults and the financial burden in getting coverage was great. Despite what you might think, we do get sick, so Congress wanted to make sure we could easily get the health insurance that we needed.

But do you or I really need health insurance? Quite simply, yes. Before the ACA became law, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation approximately 13.7 million young adults had no health insurance. According to Young Invincibles, a national non-profit that focuses on health care, young adults “have the highest rate of injury-related emergency department visits among all age groups. Fifteen percent of young Americans have a chronic condition. Nearly 1 in 10 report having a mental health condition.” We need health care, which means we need health insurance.

With so many other things to worry about after graduation, don’t let getting health insurance be one of them. In the two years since the ACA became law, nearly 3 million young adults have gotten health insurance. Talk to your parents and get covered.

Kevin Simowitz is the head of Fredericksburg’s Virginia Organizing Chapter.