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One of the provisions under the Affordable Care Act that is already in effect, allows parents to keep their children on their health insurance plans through age 26. New data from the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that 2.5 million young adults are now receiving coverage, up from the 1 million reported earlier this year.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said, “Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, 2.5 million more young adults don’t have to live with the fear and uncertainty of going without health insurance.  Moms and dads around the country can breathe a little easier knowing their children are covered.”

Data from the first three months of 2011 showed that one million more young adults had insurance coverage compared to a year ago.  The numbers announced today show a continuation of the coverage gains due to the health care law as students graduate from high school and college in May and June and otherwise would have lost coverage.

The data released today are consistent with estimates from surveys released earlier in the year.  Those surveys have shown an increase in the number and percentage of young adults 19 to 25 with health insurance coverage.  Specifically, the Census Bureau and the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index Survey, as well as the NHIS release of data through March 2011, reported similar trends through early 2011.

Today’s results highlighted in an HHS issue brief, show that the initial gains from the health care law have continued to grow.

“The data announced today show that, because of the health care law, there is a continued and consistent pattern of improved health coverage among young adults,” said Sherry Glied, Ph.D., HHS assistant secretary for planning and evaluation.  “The Affordable Care Act has helped literally millions of young adults get the health insurance they need so they can begin their careers with the peace of mind that they’re covered.”

The Patient’s Bill of Rights, which went into effect September 23, 2010, will stop the worst insurance company abuses by implementing the following protections:

•    Health coverage cannot be arbitrarily cancelled if you become sick
•    Children cannot be denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition
•    Children up to age 26 can stay on your health plan
•    No lifetime limits on health coverage
•    Annual limits are phased out over three years
•    Key preventive services will be available without a deductible or co-pay
•    Patients have a right to choose their own doctor
•    Options are improved for appealing insurance companies’ decisions
•    Restrictions on emergency room care are ended

Parents in all 50 states have added their children to their policies, which republican politician is going to tell them, tough luck, they will have to go without health insurance coverage? Sadly, all of them.

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