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Millions of young adults will gain coverage under reform law, study says


By Vince Galloro
Posted: October 10, 2010 - 12:01 am ET
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When the healthcare reform law's provisions kick in more fully in 2014, up to 81% of the 14.9 million adults ages 19 to 29 who were uninsured in 2009 could be expected to have gained coverage, according to a new report from the Commonwealth Fund.

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The 12.1 million who are expected to gain coverage include 7.2 million who would be covered by expanded Medicaid programs and 4.9 million who would gain subsidized private insurance coverage, according to the report. The law will not reach 1.8 million undocumented people in that age group; undocumented individuals are not eligible for Medicaid or the subsidized insurance plans through health insurance exchanges, according to the report.

The critical point for coverage of young adults comes when they finish their schooling, according to the report. Among those who left education after finishing high school, 27% lost their insurance and 15% switched to a new source of coverage. Among those who finished college and entered the workforce, 32% lost their insurance and 43% switched to a new source.

Young adults ages 19 to 29 are expected to make up about 30% of the 32 million Americans who are expected to gain coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to the report.

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