Study Finds Young People Healthier Under Health Reform

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Study Finds Young People Healthier Under Health Reform
Calendar30 June 2014

Despite all the differing opinions on the complex legislation that is the ACA, most people will agree that having health insurance is a good thing, and a new study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association backs them up. Harvard researchers compared the experiences of young adults, ages 19 to 25 who, under the ACA, now remain eligible dependents in their parents' health plans, to those 26 to 34, who were not. Examining health data for the study participants from 8 years prior to the passage of the ACA to one year after, the study found the group of younger adults, which had higher rates of insurance post-ACA, spending less out-of-pocket on health care and more likely to report that they are in good to excellent health -- but no similar gains among the older group, where the rate of insurance coverage had declined slightly over the same timeframe. Interestingly, the study did not find higher health care utilization among the younger adults, so it's not clear how higher rates of insurance translate into better health. Peace of mind? That's a study I would like to see.

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