Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius are reaching out to campus leaders to remind graduating high school, college and university seniors about their new health insurance options under the Affordable Care Act -- the health care law.
Because of the new law, many young adults will be eligible to remain on their parent's health plan until their 26th birthday. The Secretaries sent letters to college and university presidents as well as student associations encouraging them to spread that information to college students.
"The Affordable Care Act now gives students and their families peace of mind about their health insurance," said Secretary Sebelius. "The President's health law gives hard-working, middle-class families the security they deserve."
In the past, many young adults were removed from their parent's health plan when they graduated from college or high school. Previously, young adults were about twice as likely as older adults to lose private health coverage due to aging out of coverage. However, because of the health care law, 2.5 million more young adults have gained health coverage since September 2010.
"By partnering with school leaders, we hope more young Americans are aware of their options so they can access the care they need to stay healthy," said Secretary Duncan. "Many graduates are focusing on paying back student loans in a tough economy -- they don't need to take on the cost of high medical bills, too."
The letter outlined ways university officials and student leaders can reach out to graduating students including:
Universities or student groups can post a new "badge" on their websites that automatically links to information on how students can remain on a parents' health insurance plan. Download the badge by visiting www.healthcare.gov/stay_connected.html#ya.
Brochures outlining the new benefits can be distributed to students and are available for download at www.healthcare.gov/center/brochures/new_benefits_for_graduates_and_young_adults.pdf.
Staff can talk to students about other insurance options-- including improvements to student health plans starting this summer thanks to the health care law.
Information for young adults and parents about coverage for individuals under age 26 is available on a Facebook page that can be found at: www.facebook.com/youngadultcoverage .
The letter can be found at http://www.healthcare.gov/law/resources/letters/young-adults05212012a.html and http://www.healthcare.gov/law/resources/letters/young-adults05212012a.pdf.