ObamaCare Saves Young Person From $10,000 in Medical Debt

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Awesome story, via Michael Morrill:

A new report released today shows that 3.1 million young adults have been able to remain on their parent’s health insurance due to the Affordable Care Act. The Affordable Care Act requires insurers to allow young adults to remain on their parents’ family plans until their 26th birthday, even if they move away from home or graduate from school.  This policy took effect on September 2010.

In recognition of this milestone, the Healthy Artists team, led by Julie Sokolow, have just leaked a must-see video about the struggles of one of their own, Daniel Menges, a 23-year-old photographer/artist and recent college graduate, who just this week got into a bike accident and fractured three vertebrae.  The video details how Daniel was saved from $10,000 of medical debt because The Affordable Care Act allowed him to stay on his mother’s insurance plan.  The video is a compelling, timely piece that demonstrates the importance of the Affordable Care Act and similar health care reform measures and the willingness of young people to speak up.

I actually have a similar story, but from the pre-Obamacare years, so I had to pay.

A few weeks after I graduated from college, and about a week after I got booted from my parents’ insurance plan, I got hit by a car while riding my bike.

I wasn’t seriously hurt, but I went to the hospital anyway. The medical services I purchased included an ambulance ride, an x-ray, and a shot of painkiller. This came to almost $800! A week earlier, it would have been free.

I’ll never forget that the first thought that came into my head in the moments after getting was not “is my body okay?” but “how much is this going to cost?” That’s American health care for you!

Thanks to Obamacare, my 23-year-old brother is able to stay on my parents’ insurance since his job doesn’t offer it, and my other brother in college also won’t have to worry about some random accident bankrupting him right at the onset of his adult life.

This entry was posted in Health.

7 Responses to ObamaCare Saves Young Person From $10,000 in Medical Debt

  1. This is the problem with any discussion about the President, his agenda or just healthcare in general. The new healthcare law, or Obamacare, has many good sections in it. you outline one such good thing that comes from this legislation. however, there is so much wrong with Obamacare and so much else that should have been included, that makes this such a hot button topic for many people. With all the cries of “you haters just don’t want to help people” and “repeal Obamacare” no one is willing to admit the true middle ground. Fix Obamacare. Repeal the parts that have no business being in it, save the parts that are actually doing good (as you point out above) and add the parts that would make real reform of a system out of control. But there is so much extremism in this country today, that this will never happen so long as the President remains in office or if the extreme right get into power.

    • Jon says:

      What do you think should be repealed? If you mean the mandate, that’s the thing that makes the actuarial projections work out. Without it, the risk pool has too many sick old people and it’s too expensive. You need the young and healthy in the risk pool to make it all work.

      • Jon, I certainly do not wish to be confrontational, because that is the problem with the debate. There is not debate, just black and white arguing. Just simply by virtue of this 1990 page document, there will always be areas that do not mesh with the intent of the law. One question. Have you read the document? There are multiple sections that deal with taxing, taxation and penalties. (Sections 501, 307, 422, 59B just to name a few.) There are unconstitutional mandates (and yes, the constitutionality of it is being debated by the Supreme Court – and for good reason) throughout. Not just the “you must buy this or you will be penalized” (which is an unbelievable 2.5% of your annualized income) language, but the who is exempt and why, as well as areas such as college tuition that are so far afield of the need for other things (such as TORT reform, frivolous lawsuit reform, interstate commerce of insurance – which actually is in the purview of the federal government). There is language in the law that denies the ability of people to just pay their medical bills as needed directly to the provider. In my opinion, and this is my opinion, this is not American. Much in the law is in need of serious public debate and scrutiny. Any legislation that is that long (and was passed without allowing us to look at it) is suspect for abuse.

  2. phillydem says:

    I’m pretty much agnostic on the mandate, but it’s interesting that in our mandatory auto insurance state, there’s still an “assigned risk” pool for people the insurance companies refuse to cover despite having a large, diverse pool of drivers and car owners – all of whom are required to buy insurance. Makes one go, hmmmm….

    • phillydem, the problem with the car insurance argument (and I do see the irony of your comment about the “risk pool”) is that it is a “state” mandate, not a Federal mandate. The former is governed by state regulations and the latter by federal. And it is the federal “mandate” which is unconstitutional. (As i’ve said before, in my opinion. I am not a Constitutional scholar, but I have studied it at some length.) But it is these types of discussions which are needed.

      • phillydem says:

        The federal mandate is perfectly constitutional. My point is that even with the guarantee that everyone must purchase some level of auto insurance, the insurers still will not issue policies on their own. IMHO, the argument by the insurers that all the other ACHA reforms will work only if everyone has to pay some premium is probably not true. It’s my observation that insurance companies have gotten away from their original purpose of pooling premium money to pay claims and instead have become fixated on retaining as much as cash as possible while paying out as little as possible. Again, imho, insurers need to be heavily regulated and ACHA correctly directs them to spend at least 80% of what they take in on paying out claims. And, I’ll note medicare’s admin cost is 2-3%, not 20%.

      • Jon says:

        I think the key point is that there is no such thing as nonparticipation in the health care system. Like it or not, we’ve decided that it is illegal for hospitals to turn away people who can’t pay. So right out the gate, there is no option not to participate. If you’re poor and don’t have insurance, and you get hit by a car, people are going to take you to the hospital to get treated, and you’re going to have some medical bills when you come to. If you can’t pay, the costs are socialized as higher premiums or they get billed to the taxpayers. All of us are already on the hook for the uninsured.

        Also, once you are 65, you get Medicare coverage. THe bad choices you make as an uninsured person – not getting preventable illnesses treated, that later compound into worse problems – all the taxpayers are on the hook for that.

        The issue is not *whether* the health costs of the uninsured are to be socialized, but *when*. Should we pay for an uninsured person’s harmless toothache to be treated when it starts, or should we wait until he ends up in the emergency room, unable to pay, and needing a much more expensive surgery later down the line? I say it makes more sense to pool the risk early.