Editorials

Why Generation-Y Needs to Sign Up for the Affordable Care Act

by Henri de Toulouse

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As a young adult, why do I need health insurance?  I am a fairly healthy person except for a few cuts and scrapes, a cold here and there, and a bout or two of the flu bug. I have very little money to cover my existing expenses, let alone to pay for something I’ll hardly (if ever) use.

It is estimated that 40% of all new HIV infections occur among young adults. Approximately 1700 young adults die from binge drinking every year. 35% of young adults/adults are considered obese in the United States. 20% of young adults have mental health problems (primarily depression and anxiety.) So much for invincibility.

The ACA (Affordable Care Act) or “Obamacare” law was enacted to provide good health insurance at a reasonable rate for those who qualify for it. It is able to achieve this through exchanges (insurance companies that give group rates), mandates, and federal subsidies and cost-sharing  (for low income individuals). It also allows for young adults who make less than $15.8K a year to apply for insurance through Medicaid. Many of the preventive care services that young adults need more frequently than other medical services will be covered at no cost.

Some (but not all) of the covered services are as follows:

1. Immunization shots (including hepatitis, herpes, human papillomavirus, meningococcal, flu,  chicken pox, and many more)
2. Breast cancer screening
3. Mental health screening
4. Blood pressure screening
5  HIV testing
6. Obesity screening
7. STI prevention counseling
8.  Tobacco Use screening
9.  Syphilis testing
10. Birth control

If I, as a young adult, want to consider myself a responsible person, I should be able to take care of my own health and medical care without being a burden upon my parents, my government and/or other adults who already have health insurance (increased premiums due to the uninsured/underinsured). The ACA is that opportunity for me to become more independent

To learn more about the Affordable Care Act and to receive healthcare information, visit https://www.healthcare.gov/ or call the number 1-800-318-2596.

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