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The New Health Reform Law and Young Adults

Monday, May 24, 2010

Young adults have some of the highest uninsurance rates in America. In 2008, three in 10 uninsured Americans– almost 14 million people – were between 19 and 29 years of age. As the health reform legislation was developed, it became evident that covering the uninsured in this age group would be a major component of the effort to improve quality and lower costs in our health care system.

The law requires insurers to allow dependent children to remain on their parents’ plans until age 26. But who qualifies as a dependent? Will young adults fall through the cracks between September 23, 2010, when the age-26 provision becomes active, and policy renewal periods? How does the federal law affect state laws on the same subject? What requirements apply to self-insured employers? How might policies offered through colleges be affected? What other ways are the young adult uninsured able to get coverage under the new law? What can be learned from the experience in Massachusetts, where special provisions affecting young adults were included in their reform law?

To address these and related questions, the Alliance for Health Reform and The Commonwealth Fund sponsored a May 24 briefing. Panelists were: Roland McDevitt, head of the health research group at the consulting firm Towers Watson; Sara Collins, vice president of the Affordable Health Insurance Program of The Commonwealth Fund; and Kaitlyn Kenney, director of policy at the Massachusetts Health Connector. Ed Howard of the Alliance moderated.


 Ed Howard, Alliance for Health Reform, Moderator
 Sara Collins, The Commonwealth Fund, Speaker
 Roland McDevitt, Towers Watson, Speaker
 Kaitlyn Kenney, Massachusetts Health Connector , Speaker
(Click on the camera icon to see a video of the speaker's presentation.)

Transcript, Event Summary and/or Webcast and Podcast

Transcript: Transcript (Word Document), 5/24/2010
Full Webcast/Podcast: The New Health Reform Law and Young Adults

The full webcast and podcast for this briefing, as well as videos of individual speakers' presentations, are provided by Kaiser Family Foundation.

Speaker Presentations

Sara Collins Presentation (PowerPoint), 5/24/2010
Roland McDevitt Presentation (PowerPoint), 5/24/2010
Kaitlyn Kenney Presentation (PowerPoint), 5/24/2010

(If you want to download one or more slides from these presentations, contact us at info@allhealth or click here for instructions.)

Source Materials

Federal Employee Health Program Unlikely To Extend Young Adult Coverage On Parents' Plan This Year (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Kaiser Health News, 4/1/2010
- Jessica Marcy
Speaker Biographies (Word Document), , 5/24/2010
Agenda (Word Document), , 5/24/2010

Offsite Materials (briefing documents saved on other websites)

Rite of Passage? Why Young Adults Become Uninsured and How New Policies Can Help, 2009 Update, The Commonwealth Fund, 1/1/2009
Timeline for Health Care Reform Implementation: Health Insurance Provisions, The Commonwealth Fund, 4/1/2010
What Will Happen Under Health Reform – And What’s Next? , The Commonwealth Fund, 5/1/2010
Young, Uninsured, and Seeking Change: Health Coverage of Young Adults and Their Views on Health Reform, The Commonwealth Fund, 1/1/2009
- L. Nicholson and Sara R. Collins
Health Reform: What Does It Mean for Young Adults? , Children’s Defense Fund, 1/1/2010
IRS Issues Notice on Tax Implications of Extending Coverage to Adult Children, The Erisa Industry Committee, 5/1/2010
Young Adults and the Affordable Care Act: Protecting Young Adults and Eliminating Burdens on Families and Businesses, HHS, 5/1/2010
FAQ: Young Adults and the Affordable Care Act: Protecting Young Adults and Eliminating Burdens on Families and Businesses , HHS, 5/1/2010
Young adults eager for parents' health insurance plans,, 5/1/2010
- Sandy Smith
EXPLAINING HEALTH CARE REFORM: Questions About the Extension of Dependent Coverage to Age 26, Kaiser Family Foundation Focus on Health Reform, 5/1/2010
How Will Health Reform Impact Young Adults?, Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, 5/1/2010
- Karyn Schwartz and Tanya Schwartz
HHS Outlines Rule for Young Adult Health Coverage, Medpage Today , 5/1/2010
- Joyce Frieden
Affordable Health Insurance for Young Adults:Which health plan or policy is best? We offer healthcare coverage advice for 8 different situations, US News and World Report, 4/1/2010
- Megan Johnson


Sara Collins, vice president for Affordable Health Insurance at The Commonwealth Fund, explained how the new health reform law will help young adults at the May 24 briefing cosponsored by the Fund. (10 min.)

Roland McDevitt, director of health care research for Towers Watson, discussed how businesses will be affected by the health reform law's provisions expanding coverage for young adults. From the May 24 briefing cosponsored by The Commonwealth Fund. (12 min.)

Kaitlyn Kenney, director of policy and research at the Health Connector in Massachusetts, discusses how young adults get health coverage in her state through health plans designed especially for them. From the May 24 briefing cosponsored by The Commonwealth Fund. (9 min.)


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