Health care for students

The act expands coverage for students.

College-aged adults across the country should be thanking the U.S. Supreme Court for upholding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. President Obama’s health care reform plan seeks to treat many of the flaws in our country’s ailing health care system to the benefit of the most vulnerable populations, including college students and recent graduates. The largest proportion of the uninsured in the U.S. is young adults, many of whom, just starting out in their careers, can’t afford health care on their own and have been booted from their parents’ plan.

Under the PPACA, dependent children can be covered on their parents’ plans until age 26. Then, when a young adult goes to get health care on their own, they have access to tax credits and waivers for purchasing affordable coverage in the so-called “health insurance exchanges.” People can no longer be discriminated against for pre-existing conditions. Preventative care is now covered for things that many college students need, like contraception and alcohol abuse counseling. Also, there are a number of other provisions, like a new requirement that pharmaceutical companies disclose payments or gifts given to physicians, providing incentives to companies who start employee wellness in the workplace initiatives and asking that insurance companies lay out their coverage in two simple documents.

Yet, people are complaining that a government mandate for health coverage for all is taking it too far. But several times in our nation’s history, government has stepped in with a seemingly large reform to benefit its citizens, such as the creation of Medicaid in 1965. With this step, the U.S. is getting closer to joining other developed nations in a universal health care system for its citizens.