Today, Education (ED) Secretary Arne Duncan and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius launched a new initiative to help educate graduating college and university seniors about their new health insurance options under the Affordable Care Act. Thanks to the new law, many young adults will be eligible to remain on their parent's health insurance plan until their 26th birthday. The Secretaries sent letters to college and university presidents as well as student body presidents encouraging them to help spread that information to college students.
"Young adults shouldn't have to lose their health insurance on graduation day," said Sebelius. "Under the Affordable Care Act, many young adults have more health coverage choices, including the opportunity to stay on their parent's health insurance plan until they are 26 years old."
It is estimated that approximately 1.2 million young adults may be eligible to stay on their parent's health plan, thanks to the Affordable Care Act. In the past, many young adults were removed from their parent's health plan when they graduated from college.
"Americans in their twenties are almost twice as likely to go without health insurance as older adults, making them vulnerable to debt from high medical bills," Duncan said. "We want to work with college and university presidents and campus leaders to ensure more young adults can get the coverage and care they need to stay healthy, even if they are unemployed or looking for a job."
The letter outlined several ways university officials and student leaders can reach out to graduating students:
Universities or student groups can post a new "badge" on their website that automatically links to information about how students can remain on a parent's health insurance plan. Download the badge by visiting www.healthcare.gov/stay_connected.html#ya.
Flyers outlining the new benefits can be distributed to students and are available for download at www.healthcare.gov/center/brochures/new_benefits_for_graduates_and_young_adults.pdf.
HHS and ED will help colleges or student groups host a session to explain insurance options.
Information for young adults and parents about coverage for individuals under age 26 is available on a Facebook page that can be found at: www.facebook.com/youngadultcoverage.