New ACA Repeal Bill Would Harm As Many As 30 Million Millennials with Pre-Existing Conditions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 20, 2017
Contact: Sarah Schultz, Sarah.Schultz@YoungInvincibles.org, 202-734-6510

Today, it was made public that Congressman MacArthur plans to introduce an amendment to the American Health Care Act, which the Administration and members of the House have suggested could go to a vote next week. In response, Jen Mishory, Executive Director of Young Invincibles, released the following statement:

“Once again, just a few short weeks since House Republicans tried to dismantle our health care system and strip millions of coverage, GOP leaders are trying to force the unpopular American Health Care Act through –  this time, with a new amendment that will make a bad bill worse.

The MacArthur amendment would again make people with pre-existing conditions vulnerable to being charged higher premiums based on their health status, putting affordable health care in jeopardy for the 30 million Millennials living with a pre-existing health condition. The amendment also alleges to protect comprehensive coverage, but in reality the amendment would allow states to strip key services from health plans, like maternity care, substance use disorder services, mental health care, and other vital services that Millennials want and need in their health coverage.

These harmful changes will be the newest threats added to the AHCA, which would already take away the health coverage of 24 million people. Republican leaders need to abandon this reckless repeal effort once and for all.”

 

Share Button

People-Powered Defeat of AHCA a Victory for Young Adults

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 24, 2017
Contact: Sarah Schultz, Sarah.Schultz@YoungInvincibles.org, 202-734-6510

This afternoon, House Leadership pulled the American Health Care Act from a vote after conceding that the legislation did not have support to move forward. In response, Jen Mishory, Executive Director of Young Invincibles, released the following statement:

“Over the past 7 years, more than 8 million young adults have gained insurance under the Affordable Care Act, and today’s victory protects that progress. Millions of low-income young people can continue to access Medicaid and discounted coverage, and millions more can continue to rely on benefits like free birth control, mental health services, and maternity coverage.

The fact that President Trump and Republican leaders in Congress did everything possible to take that security away is unconscionable. Their efforts failed because of the voices of people all over the country who shared their stories, made calls to Congress, attended rallies, and posted on social media – and this generation was a big part of that effort. Those young people will continue to speak up when leaders in Washington threaten their well-being.”

Share Button

Statement: Rep. Grothman AHCA Amendment Attacks Young Adult Coverage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 22, 2017
Contact: Sarah Schultz, Sarah.Schultz@YoungInvincibles.org, 202-734-6510

Yesterday afternoon, Congressman Glenn Grothman of Wisconsin introduced an amendment to the AHCA, which would eliminate young adults’ ability to stay on a parent’s plan until age 26. Today the House Rules Committee will vote on this amendment, among others.

Jen Mishory, Executive Director of Young Invincibles released the following statement:

“Congressman Grothman’s amendment is a blatant attack on young people trying to get their start in life. Not only is dependent coverage one of the most popular provisions of the Affordable Care Act, but more than 2.3 million young adults have gained coverage by staying on a parent’s health plan until they turn 26.  This amendment would kick young people off coverage and harm their health.”

 

Share Button

Up to One in Three Young Adults Could Get Hit by AHCA Continuous Coverage Penalty

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

March 15, 2017

Contact: Sarah Schultz, sarah.schultz@younginvincibles.org, 202.734.6510

New Analysis Finds Up to One in Three Young Adults Could Get Hit by Continuous Coverage Penalty

Young Adults are About 70 Percent More Likely to Trigger Penalty Than Older Adults Under 65

[WASHINGTON]–On the heels of the release of the American Health Care Act, Young Invincibles released a new analysis on one of the bill’s most controversial provisions, the continuous coverage requirement that penalizes individuals who experience a gap in coverage exceeding 63 days. This new analysis finds that the requirement, or Millennial Penalty, would disproportionately burden young adults, ultimately spoiling the risk pool and inflating premiums for everyone.

Jen Mishory, executive director of Young Invincibles, released the following statement on the new analysis:

“The Millennial Penalty works directly against any stated attempts to bring down costs and increase coverage by punishing primarily young consumers for brief, common lapses in coverage. As many as one-third of young adults experience gaps in coverage over the course of the year. Cutting Medicaid and subsidies for low-income consumers already reduces coverage options for young people; the Millennial Penalty, or continuous coverage penalty, would cut young adult coverage further, while hiking up prices by discouraging the healthiest consumers from enrolling.”

Key findings in the new analysis include:

  • As many as one-third of young consumers experience a gap in coverage over the course of a year, which could force them to pay higher premiums because of the 30 percent surcharge.
  • Young adults, are about 70 percent more likely to face the surcharge than older generations
  • The surcharge will make healthy consumers – especially cost-sensitive young adults – far less likely to enroll, ultimately harming the risk pool and increasing premiums.

Click here to read the full analysis.

Share Button

Dispelling the Myth: House GOP Repeal Bill will Nearly Double Uninsurance for Young Adults

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 13, 2017
Contact: Sarah Schultz, Sarah.Schultz@YoungInvincibles.org, 202-734-6510

A new analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office finds that House Republicans’ American Health Care Act (AHCA) would cause 24 million people to lose health care coverage over the next decade, including an estimated almost 6 million young adults.

House Republicans and others insist that the proposal would be good for young people, pointing to changes in age rating, reduction in benefit packages, and the tax credit structure that decreases premiums for some young people. But the CBO’s analysis shows that the overall impact of the plan results in loss of coverage and quality options for young people. These coverage losses will be driven primarily by the impact of the AHCA on low-income young adults, as those who depend on Medicaid, means-tested tax credits, and cost-sharing subsidies will see their coverage options dissolve. Many of these individuals will also face the prospect of a new 30 percent continuous coverage surcharge, or “Millennial Penalty,” for realizing a gap in coverage.  The result of those changes is an increase in uninsurance among 19-29 year olds of more than 10 percentage points.

Millions of Young Adults will Lose Coverage

The ACA cut the young adult uninsurance rate nearly in half, whereas the CBO estimates that the AHCA would cause the young adult uninsurance rate to nearly double.

  • Uninsurance: According to our analysis of the CBO’s projections, under the AHCA, young adults age 19-29 would see an increase in the uninsured rate from about 12% currently to about 22%, resulting in an estimated 5.76 million more — or 11.6 million total — young adults without insurance by 2026.
  • Impact of Cutting Medicaid and Means-Based Tax Credits:
    • Medicaid: 3.8 million young people (age 18-34) have gained coverage through Medicaid expansion. If all states expanded Medicaid, 4.2 million more young adults could qualify for coverage and the Millennial uninsurance rate would drop to as low as 9.2 percent.
      • The AHCA effectively guts Medicaid, and the CBO projects this will result in a coverage reduction of 14 million people by 2026.  Millions of those left behind will be under the age of 30.
  • 12.3 million young adults age 19-29 have incomes that are at or below 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Line, so it is likely that millions of low-income young people would lose out not only on their Medicaid options, but would receive less generous tax credits, as the AHCA ends means-based tax credits.
    • The CBO similarly suggests that people living within this income bracket will not see their premiums go down.
    • The CBO states that changes in age rating, the flat tax credits adjusted only by age, and a reduction in the quality of plans available would bring premiums down for many moderate- and upper-income young people and increase the share of young people in the risk pool.  These changes, however, do not outweigh the coverage losses that young people see due to losses in Medicaid coverage and means-based tax credits for the lowest-income young people.
  • The Millennial Penalty: People who experience a gap in coverage for more than 63 days during the previous year will be charged a 30 percent premium surcharge for the next 12 months. Life changes that can cause brief disruptions in coverage disproportionately burden young adults, who are more likely to move, change jobs, or lack the resources to handle financial hardships that may lead to lapses in coverage.  The CBO similarly states that this penalty will make healthy consumers far less likely to enroll.
      • The CBO estimates that 2 million fewer people would purchase insurance in the years after 2018 as a result of the continuous coverage penalty.
      • *Coming this week: New YI analysis looks at the scale of how many young people could be subject to the Millennial Penalty — and how the figures compare to other age groups.
  • Defunding Planned Parenthood: Millions of young people rely on Planned Parenthood. The CBO estimates that low-income people living in areas without access to other clinics or practitioners serving low-income populations would be most impacted, and that 15 percent of this population would lose access to care.

Higher Out of Pocket Costs Create Barriers to Care

The CBO projects that much of the decrease in premium costs can be attributed to a decrease in the quality of coverage offered, in turn raising out-of-pocket costs for consumers, many of whom are low-income.  But young people have consistently chosen better plans when given the choice and the means. For example, the ACA offers a “catastrophic plan” option, primarily for those under 30 – but less than 1 percent of marketplace enrollees have chosen that option.  At the same time, young people have a negative 2 percent savings rate due to other financial constraints, making high deductibles and cost-sharing a significant barrier to care.

  • High Out-of-Pocket Costs:  Under the AHCA, there will be no requirements for insurance companies to sell plan options with higher actuarial values. The CBO estimates that most plans will drop to 60 percent actuarial value (equal to the current Bronze plan).
  • No Cost-Sharing Subsidies: The CBO estimates that AHCA plans with lower actuarial values will result in higher out-of-pocket costs than current ACA plans, especially once cost-sharing subsidies are eliminated in 2020 as proposed by the plan.
    • About 44 percent of young people earn below 250 FPL, the cut-off for cost-sharing subsidies under the ACA.
Share Button

House GOP Plan Detrimental to Millennials’ Access to Health Coverage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 6, 2017
Contact: Sarah Schultz, Sarah.Schultz@YoungInvincibles.org, 202-734-6510

Tonight, House Republicans introduced a bill to repeal and replace the ACA, which would have devastating effects on millions of young adults, a group which has seen the greatest health care gains under the ACA: in the past six years, Millennial uninsurance rates have dropped from 29 percent to 16 percent. Included in the bill are the following provisions that would be particularly detrimental to young people’s health and access to coverage, with statements from Jen Mishory, Executive Director of Young Invincibles:

Continuous Coverage Surcharge: The Millennial Penalty

“House Republicans say that they want to improve the pool and bring costs down for everyone, but this plan would do the exact opposite by imposing a “Millennial Penalty,” letting insurers charge people very steep penalties for brief lapses in coverage commonly resulting from life changes that disproportionately burden young adults, who are more likely to move, change jobs, or lack the resources to handle financial hardships that may lead to lapses in coverage.”

  • Data point: Young people move at twice the national rate, change jobs more than their older counterparts, and have incomes 20 percent less than their parents did at their age – leading to lower savings and wealth accumulation.

Gutting Medicaid
“The proposal states that they are modernizing Medicaid, but their plan would force states to cut access to coverage and care for millions of young people and families that qualify for expanded Medicaid.”

  • Data point: 3.8 million young people have gained coverage through Medicaid expansion. If all states expanded Medicaid, Millennial uninsurance rates could have dropped by as much as another 7 percentage points.

Defunding Planned Parenthood:
“Millions of young people rely on Planned Parenthood: by defunding Planned Parenthood this proposal would slash access to critical health care services for our generation.”

 

Share Button

Postpartum Depression and the Economic Growth of Young Texas Families

Postpartum depression is the most common complication of childbirth and can affect families in a range of ways, including in terms of health, family stability, and economic security. Nearly 15% of women in the United States will experience postpartum depression (PPD) symptoms,ii but that rate rises to 17% for Texas women.

The condition can occur up to a year after delivery but is also frequently observable during pregnancy—which is why the condition is sometimes referred to as perinatal or maternal depression—and can include anxiety, difficulty performing daily tasks, sleeplessness, acute feelings of guilt, and major depressive episodes.

Texas lawmakers have taken positive steps to increase access to supports for those coping with PPD, but given the pressing need, further improvements remain critical. To read more about addressing postpartum depression in Texas, please read the full brief: Postpartum Depression and the Economic Growth of Young Texas Families.

YI_Postpartum-2.2017-1_Page_1

Share Button

Cassidy-Collins Bill Would Cut Millennials’ Coverage Access & Quality, Not Improve It

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

January 24, 2017

CONTACT: Sarah Schultz, sarah.schultz@younginvincibles.org, 202.734.6510

[WASHINGTON]–Yesterday, Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the Patient Freedom Act of 2017, a plan that would threaten young adults’ access to health care coverage and benefits. Young Invincibles’ Executive Director, Jen Mishory, released the following statement in response to the proposal:

“Last week, Young Invincibles and 53 other organizations called on Congress to ensure that young adults have equal or improved access to high-quality, affordable health coverage under any potential plan to replace the ACA. While Senators Cassidy and Collins’ plan would allow young people to stay on a parent’s policy until age 26, a popular and important provision of the ACA, their plan misses the mark on providing quality and affordable coverage for young people broadly. Under the Cassidy-Collins plan, financial assistance would fall, states could rely on high-deductible health plans with skimpier benefits, or states could simply eliminate coverage options for millions. The plan also lets states dump provisions of the ACA that limit insurance company profits, providing insurers a windfall at the expense of consumers and taxpayers. Congress should take action to improve health care, but cutting coverage access and quality in states that opt to leave Obamacare would threaten Millennials’ financial health, not improve it.”

###

Share Button

Advocates Call on Congress to Prioritize Young Adults’ Health Gains

On Friday, January 20, 2017, Young Invincibles, joined by 53 other organizations committed to young adults’ health and financial well-being, sent a letter to Congressional leadership asking that any legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act be accompanied by a detailed replacement plan that maintains or improves access to quality, affordable health care for young adults.

Since passage of the ACA, more than 8 million young adults ages 18 to 34 have gained coverage, and millions more are benefiting from greater consumer protections. As one of the nation’s most historically uninsured groups, members of Congress should prioritize these gains as they weigh making changes to our health care system.

Share Button

5 Reasons #PriceIsWrong for Millennials’ Health

By Colin Seeberger

Price

Rep. Tom Price’s history as a member of Congress raises alarming flags about the policies he might champion as Secretary of Health & Human Services. He needs to answer for this record. Here’s a quick rundown of how a Secretary Price could significantly undermine Millennials’ health.

1. Price would significantly cut young people’s access to coverage.

In the last Congress, Rep. Price authored a bill called Empowering Patients, which would repeal the Affordable Care Act, or the essential means by which 8 million young adults have gained health care coverage, including 2.3 million young people who have been able to stay on a parent’s plan until they turn 26 (dependent coverage provision); 3.8 million through Medicaid expansion; and millions more through federal and state health insurance marketplaces. A new report from the Congressional Budget Office finds that repealing the Affordable Care Act would cause 18 million to lose their insurance and premiums to increase up to 25 percent next year. A Kaiser analysis of Rep. Price’s Empowering Patients legislation, his bill would would repeal the ACA’s dependent coverage provision and eliminate the ACA’s Medicaid expansion without a replacement to provide low-income enrollees coverage, much less coverage with comparable benefits.

2. Price doesn’t understand young women’s health needs.

Speaking at 2012 CPAC conference, when asked by a reporter about what women who have struggled to afford birth control should do if the ACA’s birth control mandate was undone, Rep. Price said: “Bring me one woman who’s [been unable to afford birth control]… There’s not one.” According to a 2010 Planned Parenthood Action Fund survey, 55 percent of women ages 18 to 34 have struggled with the cost of prescription birth control. It’s worth noting, Rep. Price has consistently voted to defund Planned Parenthood.

3. Price would give huge tax cuts to billionaires and cut financial help for low- and middle-income young adults.

Rep. Price’s health care bill would cut premium tax credits to low- and middle-income people and redirect that support, and in smaller levels, to individuals based on age. That means that young people, who have less work experience and thus typically lower wages, would see their access to financial assistance that helps them afford coverage slashed. Young adults are already earning $10,000 less than young adults a generation ago, so restructuring the financial help how Rep. Price suggests would only further stunt Millennial’s economic vitality. Furthermore, Rep. Price’s bill would provide 2.5 times more financial assistance to purchase coverage for middle-aged people, regardless of their wealth or health status, as it would to young workers making the minimum wage. In other words, Price would give a tax credit that is 2.5 times larger to the CEO of Goldman Sachs than he would to a recent college graduate working full-time at the GAP.

4. Price would push young people into policies that don’t meet their needs.

Price’s bill would eliminate the ACA’s Essential Health Benefits that currently ensure all Qualified Health Plans include maternity and mental health coverage. Prior to the ACA, just 12 percent of policies sold on the individual insurance market included maternity coverage as a benefit, despite the fact that the average, uncomplicated pregnancy could, on average, set a consumer paying out of pocket back $18,000. Additionally, mental health and trauma-related disorders are the top two conditions for which young adults receive health care, and 7.6 million young adults receive care for mental health conditions annually.

5. Price would expose 30 million young adults with pre-existing conditions to being denied or charged more for coverage.

Kaiser’s analysis also notes that Price’s bill would repeal the ACA’s prohibition on denying coverage for pre-existing conditions. Instead, people with pre-existing conditions could be guaranteed coverage only if they are already insured or if they withstand an 18 month waiting period. In other words, say that you are working at a job and have a one week lapse in employment and health coverage, under Rep. Price’s bill, insurance companies would be allowed to deny you coverage for up to 18 months due to the one week lapse in coverage.

Share Button