Return to the Latest

Latest Republican Health Care Plan Could Hurt the 46 Percent of Young Adults with a Pre-Existing Condition

April 26, 2017
Contact: Colin Seeberger,, 214-223-2913

[Washington, D.C.] — Today, Young Invincibles released a new report analyzing health care coverage for Millennials, underscoring how detrimental the latest version of the American Health Care Act would be for young people. The report reviews the gains young adults (18-34) have experienced under the Affordable Care Act, and the specific provisions most relevant to this generation. The new Republican replacement plan would remove or severely limit the impact of many of these provisions.

Millennials have seen dramatic gains in health insurance coverage since passage of the ACA, outpacing every other age demographic. The young adult uninsurance rate dropped from 29 percent in 2010, the highest rate among all age groups, to 16 percent in 2015. This represent a 45 percent decrease in the rate of uninsurance. Despite constituting only about one-third of the total United States population, young adults accounted for nearly half (46 percent) of the newly insured from 2014 to 2015.

The report finds that young people saw the impact of reform through several provisions, including three of the key provisions at risk in the latest House GOP proposal: protections from discrimination against those with pre-existing conditions; the expansion of Medicaid; and the inclusion of a number of key services in the essential health benefits package.  The latest version of the Republican health care proposal would either entirely remove or severely limit coverage and health services gains in all three provisions.

  • Discrimination against pre-existing conditions would hurt millions of Millennials: Millions of young adults are living with a preexisting condition. An analysis conducted by HHS in 2011 found 35 percent of 18- 24 year olds and 46 percent of 25-34 year olds were considered at risk for denial of health insurance due to a pre-existing condition.
  • Allowing states to easily remove essential health benefits would cut services that young adults use the most:
    • Maternity Coverage: The vast majority (83 percent) of first-time mothers are between the ages of 18-34 and rely on prenatal and maternity care.
    • Mental Health Services: Mental health was the number one reason young adults sought health care in 2013, with 7.6 million young adults taking advantage of this service.
    • Preventive Care: Young adults use preventive care for STD and HIV testing, cancer screenings, well-woman visits, depression and alcohol screening, and perhaps most importantly to young women, access to prescription contraception.
  • Gutting Medicaid could harm nearly half of all young adults who got covered under the ACA: Of the 8 million young adults who gained coverage since the ACA passed, nearly 4 million gained coverage through the expansion of state Medicaid programs. Closing the Medicaid coverage gap—by expanding Medicaid programs in all states to cover individuals with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level—would further reduce the uninsured rate for young adults to 9.2 percent

“This newest version of the House GOP plan takes a bad bill and makes it worse for young people,” said Jen Mishory, Executive Director of Young Invincibles. “It was already going to take away health coverage for 24 million people and severely increase the uninsured rate for this generation. The newest outline builds on that devastation, allowing states to discriminate against millions of young people living with a pre-existing condition – condemning too many in this generation to a lifetime of battles trying to get coverage and care they can actually afford. At the same time, it also allows states to pull coverage benefits for mothers seeking maternity care to ensure they can have healthy babies and the million of young people who need mental health services. Young people, and all Americans, expect more.”

Click here to read the full report..