MONDAY, Feb. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Young adults in states that allow them to stay on their parents' health insurance until age 26 have better access to health care, according to a new study.
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The findings suggest a potential positive impact from a provision of the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. health care law passed in 2010 that requires private insurers to support children on their parents' health insurance policies through age 26, the Mount Sinai School of Medicine researchers said in a Mount Sinai news release.
The study authors compared U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data before (2002-2004) and after (2008-2009) 34 states enacted laws permitting young adults to remain on their parents' health insurance.
After the laws were introduced, young adults in those states had higher rates of health insurance, were more likely to have a personal doctor and receive physical exams, and were less likely to forgo care due to cost.
The study findings are published in the March issue of the journal Pediatrics.
"These research findings will inform our understanding of what to expect from the federal health reform provision that allows those up to age 26 to join their parents' policy," lead author Dr. Alex Blum, an adjunct assistant professor of health evidence and policy, said in the news release.
"Our results predict that many more young people will have a personal doctor and regular checkups, and no longer have to go without care due to cost. These are critical components to provide health security to young people just when they are starting out on their own," Blum added.
In fact, the provision in the health reform law may have a greater impact than the state laws, the researchers suggested. Unlike the state laws, the federal law applies to all people up to age 26 and is not subject to limitations on self-insured health insurance plans.
-- Robert Preidt
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SOURCE: Mount Sinai Medical Center, news release, Feb. 13, 2012
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