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Ann Arbor, MI – A provision of the new federal health care law that goes into effect today will allow 32,800 young adults in Michigan to remain on their parent’s health insurance plan until age 26, according to the Public Interest Research Group in Michigan Education Fund (PIRGIM).
PIRGIM marked the day at an event on the University of Michigan campus by releasing The Young Person’s Guide to Health Insurance, a consumer guide which offers information about the rights and options available to young people and their families under the new law. The guide helps young people understand health care terms and coverage options, and also includes an introduction from President Barack Obama.
Nick Rademacher, a student at the University of Michigan Medical School, shared his own health insurance story. “If the Patient Protection and Affordability Act had been law when I was a college senior I wouldn't have had to worry so much about losing my parent's coverage between graduating and starting my new job,” he said. “ I was fortunate to find employment a week before graduation but the job market was terrible in 2008 and many of my friends could not find insurance-providing jobs easily—causing them to lose healthcare coverage.”
As more evidence of the importance of the reforms, PIRGIM also cited the story of Claudia Jankowski. While a student at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Claudia’s father paid into the system and obtained health coverage for her, just as he had done her whole life. Then, at age 19, the need to care for an ailing grandparent forced Claudia to leave school. Her health insurance company however wouldn’t allow her to continue with her current family plan (being over 18 and out of school), and so dropped her. Individual plans she looked at were far more expensive than the rates she’d had her whole life, and were out of reach. The same health insurance she’d always had became unaffordable for Claudia overnight, so she went without it. “With these reforms enacted, she’s now back on her father’s insurance plan and recently went for a physical that she’s had to delay for years,” said Meghan Hess, PIRGIM’s program associate.
Today's event is the launch of PIRGIM Education Fund's efforts to educate young people on their new rights and coverage options. PIRGIM Education Fund plans to distribute the guide on campus and has posted the guide online at pirgim.org.
“The one thing that we want young people to know is that they now have options when it comes to health insurance," added Hess.
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