Wednesday, December 14, 2011

CDC: Health reform extends coverage to young Americans

About 2.5 million young people have received health insurance coverage as a result of health care reform measures that President Barack Obama signed into law last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Wednesday.

About 2.5 million more people, aged 19 to 25, have health insurance than had it before the law took effect because of a provision that lets young adults remain on their parents' insurance plans through age 26, the agency's National Center for Health Statistics said.

"Moms and dads around the country can breathe a little easier knowing their children are covered," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement.

Young adults have traditionally been the age group least likely to have health insurance, the Department of Health and Human Services said.

The policy extending dependent coverage up to age 26 took effect for plan renewals beginning in September 2010.

The new estimates show that by the following June, the percentage of insured young people in that age group rose from 64% to 73%, Health and Human Services said. Based on census figures, that percentage change equates to about 2.5 million young people, the agency said.

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