ACA Increasing Coverage For Young People, But Older Households Still Skipping Care

A provision in the health care law that allows young adults to stay on their parents’ health care plans until the age of 26 is working, new analysis from the Employee Benefits Research Institute confirms. According to the Institute, “the percentage of people between ages 19 and 25 being carried as a dependent on a parent’s employment-based coverage increased from 24.7 percent in 2009 to 27.7 percent in 2010. The number of young adults with employment-based coverage as a dependent increased from 7.3 million to 8.2 million” as uninsured teens find coverage or shift into dependent insurance if they lose their employer-sponsored insurance.

However, the economic recession and increasing health care costs are still causing Americans over the age of 50 — or those who actually use more care — to skip health care services. Relying on data from the 2009 Internet Survey of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), the Institute found that almost 22 percent of “households reported that they have made some changes in their prescription drugs to save money, and nearly as many report that they have either skipped or postponed doctor appointments to do so.” Twenty seven percent of households “reported difficulty in paying their monthly bills”: