5 Reasons #PriceIsWrong for Millennials’ Health

By Colin Seeberger


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.

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Tell Young Women in Your Community: It’s Time to Get Insured

By Christina Postolowski

In less than 100 days, people will be able to buy insurance on a new, online Health Insurance Marketplace. Nationwide, approximately 1 in 4 young women ages 18 to 34 are uninsured. When the Marketplace opens for business on October 1st, these young women will be able to compare plans side-by-side and apply for discounts on health insurance.

But that’s not all. Previously on the Young Invincibles blog, we’ve highlighted some of the other ways the health care reform law – commonly known as Obamacare – expands access to health care for our generation. With the start of countdown to the Marketplace opening, we wanted to highlight the many health care benefits young women will receive thanks to the new health care law.

One of my favorite shows is Community, which follows the relationships and adventures of unlikely group of friends at a fictional community college. Outside of the realm of television, finding affordable health insurance coverage is a serious concern for many real community college students.


This got me thinking…

How would the female characters of Community feel about the real-life provisions of Obamacare for young women?


1. Yes to the end of gender discrimination in health plans CommunityHealthPic1

Source: http://communitythings.tumblr.com/post/47182111080/britta-quotes-in-season-3


Britta Perry is known for her well-intentioned, but sometimes misguided, outrage against the ‘corporate patriarchy.’ Obamacare ends a practice by insurance companies that Britta – and all women – are justified in being angry about. Starting in 2014, insurance companies will no longer be able to charge women more than men solely because of their gender. In addition, insurers will no longer be able to deny coverage to women with ‘pre-existing conditions’ – like having a C-section or getting medical treatment for domestic violence.


2.  Birth control coverage and STI screenings at no extra cost, yes please!

CommunitySource: http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/the%20politics%20of%20human%20sexuality


In the show, overachiever Annie Edison volunteers to organize the campus STD fair, even though she’s never seen a real male…whatchamacallit. Whether your comfortable with your sexuality or ‘comfortably uncomfortable’ about it like Annie, all women can take comfort in one thing: starting in 2014, health plans must cover preventive services for women – including all FDA-approved contraceptive methods, testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and HIV testing and counseling – at no additional cost.


3. Comprehensive maternity and newborn care- check!


Community Source: http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/applied%20anthropology%20and%20culinary%20arts?before=18

When Shirley Bennett unexpectedly goes into labor during the groups’ Anthropology final, and a ‘kerfuffle’ in the school parking lot prevents her from getting to the hospital, Shirley is forced rely on her friends to deliver her baby. Before Obamacare, many insurance plans in the individual market did not provide or had inadequate maternity coverage, leaving women to rely on themselves and their families to cover the costs. Starting in 2014, though, all plans sold on the Marketplace must provide comprehensive maternity and newborn care. In addition, plans must cover preventive services for expectant and new mothers – like gestational diabetes testing and breastfeeding supplies and counseling – without co-pays or deductibles.


Want to learn more about the health care benefits for young women under Obamacare? Go to www.healthcare.gov. And check out this guide to health care reform for community colleges published by Young Invincibles and CLASP.


Remember: Open enrollment in the new Health Insurance Marketplace starts October 1st!

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Back to School? Get Covered!

By Brian Burrell

Summer is over and it’s time to go back to school.  With everything on your back to school checklist, don’t forget to think about health care.  Although the trend has decreased since changes to dependent coverage, 23 percent of young adults between the ages of 18 to 25 are still uninsured.

But the new provisions from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) may have changed your health insurance options. For example, starting August 1st, insurance plans are now required to cover birth control. And although some provisions for the ACA don’t start until 2014, there are still many options you can take advantage of now.

Your Parent’s Plan

Just because you can legally vote doesn’t mean you don’t still need mom and dad. If you’re in school, other insurance can be unaffordable or hard to find, but staying on a parent’s plan is easy, and insurance plans are now required to allow children and young adults to stay on their parent’s plan until they’re 26. Since 2010, 3.1 million young adults have received health insurance through their parents’ plans.

  • If your parents have health insurance, this will probably be the cheapest option.
  • Many plans allow parents to add young adults for a small cost. In some cases, if your siblings are on the plan, it won’t cost extra.
  • You can stay on the plan regardless of whether of not you live in another state, are married, or aren’t a student.

Student Health Plans

As of August 1st, your school’s health plan offers some major changes. Student health insurance plans are now regulated like all other insurance plans.  In the past, the limited scope of student health insurance left many students deciding between going into debt or staying sick. When 2014 rolls around, it won’t matter how sick you get or how expensive your medical treatments will be, you’ll be covered by your student plan.

Here’s what applies right now:

  • Student plans are now required to raise their annual cap on prescription drugs and general health coverage to $100,000, meaning they can’t cut off paying anything up to that amount if you get really sick.
  •   Student plans allow you to get free annual exams, free breast exams and free STD testing and free birth control.
  • The price of your plan may fluctuate. Some have gone slightly down because insurance now must spend 80 percent of your premiums on care, not profit.  Others have gone slightly up because they didn’t cover much before.

Student Health Centers: Even if you don’t have a student health insurance plan, your school fees often give you access to the services your student health center provides.

  • Regardless of whether or not you have health insurance, find out what services your health center provides and compare to off-campus services.
  • Many health centers offer checkups, basic services and STD testing all for a small fee.
  • Many of these centers also offer health  & wellness information and nutrition trainings.

Buy Private Insurance

If no other options work, you can check out some individual insurance plans on places like healthcare.gov or ehealthinsurance.com.  Make sure to check out how high the deductible will be, and which services the plan covers.

Community Health Centers

If you commute to school or just need affordable health services, community health centers are a good option.

  • These clinics offer regular doctor services but operate on a sliding scale for payment.
  • That means if your income is below a certain amount, your visit could be free. Use this locator to find service providers closest to you and call ahead to find out what you’ll have to pay, if anything at all.

Medicaid: In 2014, many states will be expanding Medicaid to those who qualify.  Until then, you may be able to use CHIP up until age 19.  If you’re pregnant you can likely get health insurance for you and your child once he/she is born; however, check with your state Medicaid department to see if they offer Medicaid to young adults and find out how to enroll.

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Five Things to Know about the HHS Preventive Women’s Health Guidelines

By Adaku Onyeka

Starting Aug. 1, guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the Affordable Care Act go into effect, making several women’s health services more affordable for millions.  In general, the guidelines require insurance companies to cover the full cost of many preventive health services. No co-pays. No deductibles. No out-of-pocket expenses.  At all.

It’s a big deal, but before you storm your local clinic or pharmacy, here are the top five things to know about the preventive health care changes:

  1. What’s Covered: All FDA-approved contraceptive methods and drugs, but you already knew that.  What hasn’t been getting as much media attention is that the new guidelines will also cover the cost of many women’s health services, such as regular well-women visits (which include annual breast and pelvic exams), HPV screenings for women over 30 every three years, STI counseling, HIV testing, screening for gestational diabetes in pregnant women, and breastfeeding support and supplies.
  2. Students Get First Dibs.  The guidelines apply only to new policies started on or after Aug. 1.  That means unless you signed a policy on or after that date, you will still be tied to your current policy until its end date.  Luckily for most students that end date is right around the corner. Most university health plans coincide with the academic year, which means new plans are set to begin in mid-August to September.  Be sure to check with your school to make sure you don’t miss open enrollment for your health plan.
  3. Fret Not, Working Gals. You’re likely next in line to reap the benefits of the new guidelines by early 2013.  Most companies hold open enrollment in October or November right before their fiscal year closes, with new plans starting in the New Year.  Check with your HR department and look out for information about open enrollment.
  4. Not All Coverage is Created Equal.  Some plans will still require co-pays, deductibles, etc., if they are Grandfathered Health Plans.  These plans existed on March 23, 2010, and are limited in how much they can change before they lose grandfather status.  Best to check with your insurance provider or HR department to learn if your coverage falls into this category.  Also, some religiously-affiliated non-profit schools and employers can delay providing birth control coverage for up to a year, after which enrollees can go straight to the insurers rather than their employers.  A more permanent carve out exists for churches and houses of worship.
  5. No Free Lunch.  The guidelines do not apply to women who have no insurance at all; you must already have some kind of health insurance – whether it’s a private policy through a school or employer, or purchased in the open market.  If you’re uninsured and want to learn about your options, visit gettingcovered.org.

For more information check out this fact sheet.

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