The new Health Reform Law of 2010 extends health insurance for children covered under their parents plan
Until recently, March 23, 2010 precisely, when the Health Reform Law of 2010 was signed into law by President Obama, most health insurance plans provided by employers covered your children until they were 18 or 21. The logic was simple enough: your child is under your care until they become adults, at which time they are old enough to enter the work force and obtain health insurance for themselves. Until then, health insurance for children was covered under most employer-provided health insurance plans. This approach seemed fair enough, but recent events have left thousands of our children without health care coverage.
While this arrangement previously seemed just enough, its deficiencies became clear in the recent economic collapses we've endured since 2008. Children reaching the age of maturity, 18 to 21, depending on the state, are normally no longer covered by the health insurance for children portion of the insurance plan their parents have from their employers. If jobs were available for our children - they are always our children, no matter what their age - then they could simply find a job in which the employer offers health insurance coverage, and get their own. The fact is that today we are experiencing the highest level of unemployment among teens and first time job seekers in the history of our economy. Even adults are having trouble finding work. Without a job, there is no insurance for these children, and waiting until they find work is not always a viable alternative. Some of these children have ongoing diseases, such as diabetes 1, which doesn't go away just because you've turned 18. The inability of the economy to provide jobs for these fledgling adults is causing pain, debilitation, and death for many of our children, dropped from their parents health care plan, that had provided health insurance for children of the employee.
The framers of the Health Reform Law were well aware of this crisis when they wrote the legislation. In a stroke of utter brilliance, they stipulated in the law that children with pre-existing conditions cannot be automatically dropped from their parent's coverage when they turn 18 or 21. Its urgency won the stipulation first place among what portions of the law must be implemented immediately. In 2010, insurers may no longer drop a child from a policy that includes health insurance for children, not until they turn a whopping 26 years old. Countless children are being saved from misery and death by this act. If the child is 18, that child is being given 8 more years of coverage. Perhaps eight years from now, that child, then an adult, might be able to find a job and ease into an employer provided health care plan without any problem.
By the enactment of the Health Reform Law of 2010, health insurance for children has gotten the boost it needs for our times. Some believe this is still not enough. The urgent problem seems taken care of, but what of the millions of children who do not have some sort of health insurance for children because their parents cannot afford it? What is the law doing to assure they are not excluded?
The Health Reform Law is remarkable in that it has provisions for making insurance available even to the poor. Even families making up to $88 thousand a year will be able to receive help from the federal government, in the form of subsidies. The poor may select their own plan, which may include insurance coverage for children, and the feds will pay the insurer what the family cannot pay. 24 million Americans are expected to benefit by this provision, at a cost of about $350 billion a year. Remarkably, this provision, along with the others it contains, is expected to reduce the federal deficit by $124 billion over the next ten years.
This law is a powerful expression of America's love for their children. Changes are inevitable, so pay attention to what is going on with the law. We must never let the love of wealth replace the love of our children. If movement begins to go against any benefits to our children, oppose it. It's human nature to defend and die for their children if necessary. Let nature be your guide. Keep health insurance for children a top priority by urging your congressperson to stand for children first. It's only human.