How the New Health Care Reform Bill Will Affect Young Professionals

The new health care reform bill passed by the House of Representatives on Sunday is due to be signed into law today by President Obama. The bill will have immediate effects on health care reform and other effects that will not take shape until 2014. A lot of young professionals and people right out of college are struggling for employment or benefits and are wondering how the health care bill will affect them.

The overall health care reform bill was written by the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services and runs over 2,000 pages. The official name of the bill is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, H.R. 3590 and will affect young professionals in the following ways:

* The bill stipulates that adult children can stay as a dependant on their parents insurance until the age of 26

* Men and women cannot be denied health insurance because of preexisting conditions (more details on this found below)

* Most employees will be keeping their work-provided coverage

* If you are un-employed, have an internship, or your job does not provide you with coverage, by 2014 everyone will be required to sign up for health care coverage with a penalty of a fine if not covered (there are exceptions for economic hardships, religious beliefs and certain groups like American Indians)

* Insurers are not allowed to charge women or people with preexisting conditions more for their coverage

* Coverage will be portable, even if you leave a job

The health care reform bill will affect the majority of Americans (there is more on the bill revolving around Medicare/Medicaid) but these specific qualities of the bill will have a significant impact on young professionals. These stipulations provide security for those recent graduates having trouble finding careers in this economy. Being able to stay on as a dependent until 26 and not allowing insurers to reject you for preexisting conditions is a huge benefactor in finding coverage for young professionals whose jobs do not provide benefits.

The fine print with the preexisting conditions part of the health care bill involves the creation of a temporary high-risk pool. This pool will provide coverage for individuals with preexisting medical conditions until the new law takes hold in 2014. As previously stated, some of these laws will not take immediate effect.


* If you are a young professional whose job provides health insurance, your coverage will basically stay the same.

* If you are struggling to find a job right out of college, you can still be covered by your parents insurance until you find a job with benefits.

* If you have a job but are not receiving benefits, this bill allows easier access to health insurance without worrying about preconceived notions and red tape that many insurers used to place.

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